Spring continues to do battle with winter in Big Sky country. Today’s temperature wasn’t too bad – high 30’s to low 40’s – but rain and light snow fell intermittently throughout the day. The Red-winged Blackbird didn’t allow the weather to dampen his spirits, as he took post high in the cattails and commenced to singing. Finding something to eat couldn’t have been an easy task for him today. And as one of the early arrivals in the spring migration, there weren’t too many other blackbirds around to keep him company. Everything seemed to be working against this poor fellow, but he didn’t let them get in the way of rejoicing in song. I think we have a lot to learn from this weather warrior.
Often we overlook the many blessings in our lives, and instead dwell on things that aren’t going our way. Worse yet, many of the things that we allow to bring us down are trivial in nature. But we, who have been given dominion over so much by our Creator, get mired in self-pity and sorrow when we don’t get our way. How much simpler and satisfying it would be if we would just rejoice in what the Lord has done for us, and bring our needs and desires to Him in prayer. He knows what is best for us, and He will take care of our needs in accordance with His plans. We enjoy the largest measure of God’s kindness and spiritual blessings, so let’s take a page from the Red-winged Blackbird’s playbook and rejoice in Him.
Canada Geese have been on their northward migration for several weeks, and can be spotted in fields and along rivers and streams as they rest and feed on their journey. Sandhill Cranes are starting to take up residence in the meadows along the Musselshell River. Robins and Mountain Bluebirds have returned, but are reluctant to spend much time up here on top of the Bull Mountains until our near daily ritual of snowfall finally comes to an end. The calendar says Spring began a week ago, and many of the Creator’s indicators seem to agree. I took a detour along the way home today and found the Meadow Larks and Horned Larks have returned to their posts, albeit a little slow on this snowy day. While the snowy weather tries to argue that winter hasn’t left, the everpresent mud begs to differ!
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 6:37-39)
What an awesome invitation from our Saviour! If we come to him in faith and believe in Him, we will receive an abundance of peace, joy and love. Our “thirst” will finally be quenched when we have shared those gifts with others. Without water, our bodies will dehydrate and eventually die. But the living water that we receive from Christ is an everlasting gift for us to share with others on earth, and then to enjoy in the hereafter with Him. Are you thirsty? Then belly up to the Living Water bar, tended by the Master Himself. Oh, and you don’t need money; His water is free, you only need faith!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor 5:17).
Her shingles have vanished, her back is swayed, the remaining skin of her body is worn thin. Standing alone in a field of wheat stubble, she has a story to tell, but can’t attest to her history. Was she once surrounded by cattle and sheep, who were nurtured at her stockpiled bounty? Perhaps calves and lambs sought refuge under her protective coat to shield them from the lashing wind and burning snow that drifts high against her back? Only hints of her history remain – her memory wanes from her decades of hard labor. Her remaining days are few. Perhaps a spring squall will write the final chapter of her story. She is old, and will soon pass away.
This old barn and I have some things in common. As time marches on, I find my body becomes pretty vocal about the services it has rendered over the years. My knees pop and crackle, my back aches, and my shoulders groan; yet, I am a new creation. The day I proclaimed my faith in Christ as my Lord and Savior, He made me new again. When the old barn finally crashes to the ground, it will be her final chapter. But after my life here on Earth is done, by the Lord’s grace and mercy, I will spend eternity with Him in Heaven! No more aches and pains! No stress or worldly concerns! Eternity in the heavenly mansion He created for me! “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21).