Today is simply a beautiful day. The weather is just amazing. It makes me happy.
Isn't it crazy how the weather can make you happy? It amazes me every year... as Fall starts to arrive... how something in my spirit... just... feels... happy... by just the way it feels outside.
What makes you "feel" happy? I have to ask the question to myself and there are several answers that immediately come to mind. Fall weather... white lights... great music... worship... being enveloped in my husband's arms... my children experiencing joy... laughing with friends... being with family... college football... and creating.
Just the thought of those things can make me "feel" happy. But in a moment... I can feel bad... angry... heartbroken.
Friday morning, as we went outside to get in the car to take the kids to school, our neighbor walked over and showed us this tiny baby bird he had in a little box. He found it in the middle of his driveway. I was overcome with anxiety and sadness. How in the world could we find the nest this little bird belonged in. It's feathers were just coming in. How in the world had it gotten to the middle of the driveway? It was way too young to fly. What in the world were we going to do with it?
I suggested he take it by a vet and see if they had some options. And he did.
Last night, Saturday night, I was awake around 4 a.m. As I lied there, trying to fall back to sleep, I heard a noise... a constant noise. Was it an owl? Over and over and over it called. At 6:30 a.m. when my alarm went off, it was still calling. And I realized, it was a dove. We have two doves that eat beneath our bird feeder... and it was her.
When I walked out to get in the car at 7:30 a.m., there she sat, on the peak of my neighbor's house... calling... calling... calling. I looked up at her and my heart sank. "You are looking for your baby aren't you sweet one?" I got into the car and pushed the thought out of my mind.
Tonight, moments ago, I saw my neighbor's wife and I asked her about the bird. "Yeah, the vet took it." I was filled with a tiny bit of hope... that it would live, that it was alive, that it had been saved. Then she said, "Yeah, they said it was a little dove."
A knot the size of a watermelon started up from my gut and was trying to make it's way out of my mouth. My stomach flipped and my eyes filled with tears. And I told her what I had heard and seen. She told me how the same bird had spent hours on her front porch the day before. How she told her husband she couldn't even look at her. She, too, knew it was the mother, looking for her baby.
What I feel right now is such disappointment. Heartbreak. Yes. For the bird... for both of them. Should we have left it in the driveway? Should we have looked for a nest? I felt like it was sitting prey for a hawk (that often flies above our yard), or some cat or other creature... we just couldn't leave it there. But this poor mother... two nights later... still calling... all... all... all night. It breaks my heart. And I have not seen her today since this morning. How I wish I could comfort her somehow. I will carry this for days. Bummer. How long will she carry it? How long will she look... and call out? Oh mercy. If I hear her tonight I may have a mini-breakdown.
Feelings are powerful. They have the ability to take us from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in just a moment. Feelings affect our personality... our mood... our relationships... our very lives. They can be wonderful and they can be devastating... but the power they have over us is mind blowing when you really think about it.
But they also require some major attention... and we must be careful with them. We live in a society saturated with "feelings." If it feels good... do it. If it doesn't feel good... leave it. If it feels right... it must be. If it feels wrong... it is. This is one of Satan's playgrounds... driving our "feelings" and intertwining them with lies. I love what a man I know often says, "Satan will take truth and just sprinkle the tiniest bit of lies it in to get you where he wants you." 95% truth and 5% lies. Seems like a good ratio. But it is not. Not even close. It only takes the tiniest little bit to get you into his grasp and to destroy you... your family... your marriage... your life.
I was talking to a friend yesterday. She was saying that she knows what she needs to do but she just doesn't feel like doing it. How many of us can say that? I can. I have fallen victim to that very lie. Several times. But praise the Lord, He shows me truth. And rescues me from the grip of the enemy. But I remain on guard... because "I don't feel like" can come upon me quickly.
I know marriages ending because one of them didn't "feel" like they should be together anymore. One of them didn't "feel" like God was going to change the other one. One of them "felt" they deserved better. And it is all lies. And the families have been torn apart. And sin is abounding.
I know a person living a sinful lifestyle because he "feels" it is the way he is and he "feels" it is ok. Lies. All lies. And his life is being destroyed. He battles with strongholds the enemy wraps around him, depression, explains away truth, pushes truth away, rolls in rebellion, and is drowning. Heartbreaking.
And when we are walking in disobedience, the Holy Spirit sits on the peak of a roof... and calls and calls and calls to us. He sits in distress and calls to us... all night... night after night... looking for His lost child.
The Lord gave me a wonderful example to share with my friend. I love it when He shows up and just "downloads" words to me like that. It was powerful. And it was truth.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ did not "feel" like going to the cross. He cried, wept, and blood dripped from his forehead from the extreme anxiety He was feeling. We can not even imagine the distress. He called out... cried out and asked the Father for another way... for the cup to pass. But yet, He followed it with, "your will be done... not mine." Jesus knew He was not only going to be brutally murdered... a slow and horrific painful death... but that He would take on the sin of the world... AND BE SEPARATED FROM GOD. Even Jesus Christ did not "feel" like doing what He was asked to do.
But He was obedient. But He was obedient. I will say it again. BUT HE WAS OBEDIENT.
And praise the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY He was... for our sake. Can we even grasp that?
Jesus Christ was obedient for our very souls. And He was obedient for the very example of what we are called to do... be obedient. He even says, several times, that He is being obedient so that we will see He does the will of the Father and not His own.
If Christ took the brutality of the cross and separation from God... when He didn't "feel" like it... who are we to think that we have the right and even His blessing to not do what we are called to do because we don't "feel" like it? Who do we think we are? Really.
As Christians, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and accept His gift... it is not FREE. It comes with a price we are to pay... daily... our lives. When we are buried into baptism and immersed into His name, we die. When we are raised out of the water, we are resurrected with Him and we are new creatures... we are purchased, we belong to Him, and we live for Him. And we obey. It is not about us anymore and our "feelings"... it is about Him and about truth. Period.
The world tells us to walk around and live by our feelings. The word of God says to walk in the Spirit and in obedience. Even if you don't "feel" like it... you are to obey. The moment you give Satan a tiny step into telling you otherwise, the truth can be dulled and diluted with lies. And he has you.
And I know for a fact, God rewards obedience. His word gives us example after example of that. And my life is an example of that. My marriage is an example of that. My three children are examples of that. This blog is an example of that.
I beg of you, whatever you are "feeling" that you know to not be truth, not be in line with God's word... make a decision and become obedient despite your feelings. Confide in a friend and get support and encouragement. Satan wants you to keep it to yourself more than ever... then he can keep feeding you lies and pull you further and further away. Speak truth over it and rebuke the lies of the enemy. Walk it out. And I promise you... and even more so... the LORD promises you... you will be blessed beyond measure.
Dear Lord, thank you. Thank you for Jesus Christ. Thank you for your word. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. I plead with you to allow me to see attacks of the enemy when he tries to use my "feelings" to pull me towards sin and away from you. Please help me be on guard, daily, as he stalks me daily, and give me your strength and your wisdom and your power to rebuke him and stay in your will. Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you for your mercy... for your love, for your grace, for the way you pursue us and call out to us when we wander from you. Thank you for your forgiveness and for the cloak of righteousness in Christ Jesus. Thank you for the life and example of your Son. Thank you for your Presence and how active you are in our lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you... for the Shepherd who called me by name. Oh how I love you and want to be with you. In your holy Son's name, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Much much love, Dawn