Monday, May 7, 2012

The Robin Still Sings

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.~ James 1:12, NIV

This past weekend was a tremendously rainy one in Wisconsin.  It was rather unfortunate for our family in that we traveled two hours Northwest to our camper trailer at a local resort, hoping to get it opened for the season, and enjoy some outdoor relaxation.  While we got the outdoor work done of stacking firewood, raking and planting in our small yard, mowing the lawn and mulching the gardens, the rain overtook the remainder of our outdoor time, quarantining us to indoor activities.

For those who have never been in a camper trailer before, you should know that the unit has virtually no sound-proofing.  Talking loudly inside would be almost equivalent to doing so outside.  The opposite is also true.  Most outdoor noises can be heard inside the cabin.

As the rain came down this weekend, I sat inside reading, and found myself amazed at what I was hearing.  Despite the fact that it was pouring, with thunder and lightening threatening all around, I could hear the robin's song.  First, it sang the song I frequently hear from its red breast as morning approaches.  Next, as the raindrops waned, I heard it make the chirp that it lets out as it hops along, searching for worms.  Incredible!, I thought once I realized I wasn't imagining what I actually heard.  Dumb bird!, I subsequently thought, when I contemplated this creature going along happily, as if no storm was dampening its day.

Then it struck me -- What if we approached our storms in life with the same verve as that robin?  Maybe this creature wasn't so dumb after all.  Perhaps it was God's little messenger to struggling humans like me.  

We parents who are raising children with special needs have much to learn from this robin in the rain.  "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have," Peter tells us in his first letter, Chapter 3, Verse 15 (NIV).  That bird sang in the rain as it would at sunrise.  It had the hope that the storms would not last forever.  Jesus tells us, "Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (Matthew 6:26-27, NLT)  That bird, despite the storms, had no worries.  God made that creature to trust its Creator.  In Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV), Paul tells the church in Philippi, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Like that bird, Paul continues on with the work that he was called to do.  As the rain let up, the robin persevered, resuming its work finding worms.  And ironically, the very storm which drove us indoors, became a blessing to that robin as the worms became easy to find in its wake.

Hope, trust, perseverance, blessings in the storm -- Where could you be growing in each of these things in the midst of your circumstances today?  I don't know about you, but I want to glorify God by the songs I sing in the middle of my son's hospital stays or my daughter's social challenges with peers.  I don't want to be consumed by the worry of what their futures might hold.  I want to press on, doing the next right thing for my family.  And I want to help my children make lemonade out of the special needs lemons they encounter in their lives.  I want to sing in the rain just like that robin!

Pray:  Creator God, you made me to reflect your glory, not to be consumed or diminished by life's storms.  Help me today to find that song that You have placed in my heart!

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