Saturday, May 27th, 2018
Today I had the joy of meeting up with my friend and sister-in-Christ, Nancy Harbron. I have known Nancy for many years and have been blessed by her insights on living a joy-filled life that is purposed on serving God. Nancy shared with me that she had just returned last week to the U.S. from a visit to Uganda. She wore colorful beads around her neck that the women in Uganda (#Women of Grace) make and that she helps to sell. The proceeds help provide for these women and the ministry of the Kampala Church of Christ in Uganda.
Along with other topics, Nancy speaks to groups in Uganda and across the United States about God the Master Potter as she works with her hands to shape a beautiful clay pot. Check out Nancy's presentation here!
This morning, Nancy and I visited at a picnic table along a beautiful nature trail where the birds were singing, and Nancy commented on the peaceful sound of the birds. I shared with her something God taught me in February using the song of the birds.
Multiple times throughout one day in February God used the song of birds to redirect my thoughts to Him. The Holy Spirit stirred inside me to teach me a lesson from the Lord: when I focus my attention on God and praise Him, He eliminates my worries. Praise God!
When I shared this with Nancy, she nodded her head and affirmed this Truth that she too has witnessed, and she asked me if I knew about her birds. I was delighted to learn that she has over 30 adult finches that she nurtures in her home and many baby finches that she breads. Nancy said that she observes the finches’ behaviors and learns about God and the parallels of birds to humans. It was fascinating! For example, she explained that there are finches who act as foster birds, taking in baby birds into their nests who are not their own and caring for them as they would their own. It is a community of love and support within this bird habitat just like God designed us to be for one another.
Nancy rescues the baby finches who have fallen from their nests and puts them into a safe nest to be cared for. This is a parallel to how God reaches down and cares for us. I am reminded of the verse in Colossians that says,
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” -Colossians 1:13-14 (NIV)
In these verses, we read about how God lovingly picks us up when we have fallen and places us where we can be nurtured. He adopts us as His children and offers a home in heaven with the Son of God when we open our hearts to Him just like the birds open their beaks to their foster bird parent.
Nancy shared that she is in awe of how God cares for the birds and even more for us. This reminded me of something from my new book I am seeking to publish. I asked Nancy if she would allow me to include her reading one of the pages in my book, Canta con la Creación, Sing with Creation, inspired by the lesson the Holy Spirit taught me in reflecting on the songs of the birds outside my home. Thank you, Nancy! Meet Nancy, and you will discover that she has a sincerity and peace from God that flows from her words to breathe life through the Holy Spirit into you. I pray that you will be encouraged as she reads with birds chirping in the background. God is good!
Before leaving, Nancy showed me videos of her birds and shared with me that the sweet sound of these bird fill her office. What a joy! Finally, as we walked back to our cars, a talk on the Holy Spirit has me pondering a new story to share with children. She commented on the comparison of the Holy Spirit to a dove in Scripture. In the gospels we learn that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove when he was baptized. (Matt. 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22)
God is teaching me a new lesson that I am praying to learn more about in the coming days through prayer and study of His Word. Perhaps there is another lesson from the Scripture on taking flight when we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us. Have you ever considered what it would be like to fly? I have. I was just considering this the other day. I was at a small gathering of Spanish-speaking Christians, and our small group of women had just finished praying. One of the ladies asked me if I knew any songs so I started a favorite traditional hymn in Spanish, "Alabaré" and the ladies all joined in. It was as though the Spirit came alive inside me and the joy from this overflowed throughout the evening. Singing praises in Spanish to the Lord with these women brought on a joy that takes away the thoughts of the world and allows you in that moment to be free in Christ....a feeling I imagine is similar to that of flying. Perhaps, God really does give us the power to fly- the ability to live freely through the Holy Spirit.
God filled me peace and joy today through Nancy’s kindred spirit of seeing Him in His Creation. As I write this, I have my patio door open listening to the sweet chorus of birds in the courtyard outside and am thanking God for His peace!! I pray the same peace for you today. I encourage you to walk outside and meditate on God in nature. Pray that God will reveal a new Truth to you. Listen for a song of the birds and a song God may be putting on your heart to sing to Him. As you talk with the Lord and are still before Him, He will bring an amazing peace that comes from being in His Presence.
Prayer for my readers:
Dear Lord, I pray that as you have filled me with your peace today, that you would fill the individuals and families who read this with your peace. I pray that they too will discover the joy of praising You and eternal hope that we are reminded of in Your Creation. I pray specifically for children to grow up knowing you and be reminded that no matter what happens in life that they can discover your goodness in your Creation and see a testimony of your love and faithfulness. May they discover a relationship with You as they seek You. In Jesus name, Amen.