By Amy Carroll
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7 (NIV)
I’ve had a fascination with birds ever since I was a little girl. One summer my brother and I raised two baby birds from naked little things until they took flight. I still love the sound of birds on a spring morning, and I treasure my coneflowers because goldfinches love to eat them as they wilt and dry. This summer a tiny, brown bird built her nest in my front door wreath. No sooner were those beautiful blue eggs hatched, raised and gone than another bird raised her family in my topiary right beside the front porch. It has been my delight every morning to peep into those nests on my way out the door. On the morning that the second nest was empty, I happened to glance over to a nearby tree. There on a branch sat one of the babies receiving his first flying lesson. I listened enthralled as the mother bird coaxed her young one from a short distance away.
I’ve been thinking about the intensity of my interest as I watched the lives of these birds. My deepest desire is to be a more avid God watcher than a bird watcher. God is active all around us, but as we hurry through our daily lives, we so often overlook His work. My husband and I have both had the opportunity to do short term mission trips in third world countries. The thing that struck us with the most force upon reentry into American life was how our spiritual eyes get so glazed over in our familiar, comfortable environment. In a new and challenging place, we could see God everywhere! We saw Him shining in the faces of new believers even in the midst of terrible hardship. We saw Him provide extra strength and vigor to accomplish goals despite obstacles. We saw Him provide a capable doctor for an injured friend in an isolated area. We saw Him provide for even the smallest needs.
We realized that our familiarity with our culture and surroundings had caused us to feel very self-sufficient. We saw our actions and the things that came our way as a result of our own work and own will. That realization was followed by great repentance and a renewed determination to watch for God. Jesus, through parables and other means, often told his followers to watch. We are to watch for His work, watch out for sin, and watch in expectation for the signs of His second coming.
Luke says, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” I encourage you to begin watching for God this week. He cares for you. Has He sent a cool breeze to blow over you as you work in your garden? Has He helped you to respond kindly to a friend or spouse who has just stepped on your last nerve? Has He provided a friend to wipe away the tears that spill over from the sorrow in your heart? Has He allowed the internet to include a devotion that reminds you of your great worth to Him? Turn your spiritual eyes toward your world this week and watch for Him.
Dear Lord, help me to have keen spiritual eyes. Make me aware of the times when my vision has glazed over, and sharpen my heart toward God-watching again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Start a journal where you reflect at the end of the day. Write down times that you see God work.
Look for small blessings that He provides.
Share with a friend this week about God’s work in your life. Let thankfulness overflow!
In what area of life have I become so self-sufficient that I don’t see God at work?
How am I called to be part of God’s work in the lives of others?
Do I give God the credit for His work in my life?
Luke , “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (NIV)
Luke , “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 17 September 2007.