A Tender Heart

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” Matthew 10:29

Last week I shared how our daughter, Elyse, is an animal lover.  This past Friday night our family took a family “walk”. (The parents walk, the kids bike/run/ or ride scooters!) We ended at a school playground near our home.  As we were fastening helmets and reclaiming scooters, our oldest daughter found a bird.

This bird had no feathers and still had pieces of blue shell attached.  He was lying there, in the middle of the playground, opening and closing his little mouth. We assumed the earlier windstorm had blown him out of his nest, and away from his mother.

We knew his best chance for survival was us.  My husband scooped him up, carefully carrying him home in cupped hands.

We called an animal expert we know.  We searched the Internet for information.  We warmed water bottles.  We dug up worms from our garden, cutting one into baby bird sized-pieces.  We dropped water droplets into his bill.

And we prayed.  Several times, for this precious creature.

Taking turns to check his body temperature at regular intervals, we prepared ourselves for a sleepless night.

At 10:00, Elyse appeared, the tears pouring, her voice unable to sound.

The bird was not moving.

John and I leapt to action.  Thirty minutes later we felt we’d done everything humanly possible for the bird.

We embraced Elyse, offering encouragement and prayed to God to comfort her as only He could.

We knew when we carried the bird home his survival was a long shot. But we had felt the need to try.

We knew Elyse especially would take the demise very hard.

Yet we wouldn’t have helped either her or the bird should we try to shield her from possible pain.

As much as I wished otherwise sometimes, life is filled with hard stuff.  Yet God doesn’t shield us from it.

Quite the contrary, He’ll carry us through the fire, protecting us from the all-consuming flames, if we let Him.

God loves His children even more than I love mine, and yet He let’s us endure challenges.

Why?

To grow us, to grow our faith.

As hard as some of those challenges are, we are not alone.

It’s OK to tell God you don’t understand why He’s letting you go through something.  Pray for the strength to endure the challenge, to come out victorious on the other side.

Ask Him for faith when you feel yours is inadequate.  He promises to supply ALL our needs.  He promises to bring good from EVERYTHING.

So, what good came from our bird situation?

At the small funeral our family held the next evening, Elyse said, “I think the bird felt better with us than out there alone.”

Even though it didn’t end the way we’d prayed, I think Elyse was right.  We may not have saved his life, but maybe his final moments were more bearable.

God knew how it would end even before we found the bird.  He knew our hearts would break over his death.  And He knew He wanted Elyse to realize she had made a difference.

Reflections:

1) Do I look for what God is teaching me when I receive an answer I didn’t want?

2) Am I able to submit to Him, even when the outcome is not what I prayed?

Thank you for reading!  I wish all my American readers a Happy Fourth of July! The next post should be up by Monday, July 8.

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