My mother always says things come in threes. She is right to a certain extent, in that when I have received a word from God, it is usually backed up in another two ways.
I have always been fascinated in how God spoke to the prophets, for instance Jeremiah got a word from the Lord asking him to go down to the potters house;
“Arise and go down to the potter’s house,
and there I will announce My words to you.”
Was this a thought that appeared in his head or was a words out loud or was it by some other means? We do not know, but when he got down there, the message from the lord came clearer. We do not know but here is what he notices;
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.
Jeremiah was making an observation from life and then God comments on this, and many other times he and many other prophets make observations from life and from nature in particular with God then commenting and using this as a visual example. I have found that from the first year I started the 365 exhortations challenge.
There have been three nests that I have encountered upon.
The first was on a day out through the lovely village of Wray in Yorkshire. At the side of an old farm building there were many thousands of reed buntings building nests in the cracks in-between the stone blocks. A pretty solid foundation of protection from most intruders and high enough to be out of reach from cats and other predators. These buntings were also in a colony of other birds and this seems to act as a defence against predators. How life seems so carefree and wonderful on some days and on others things seem to change with the wind.
These birds have a pretty good nesting place and the farmer doesn’t mind and for years he has watched them nest in his walls, pecking out the mortar and leaving the place a tad windy but that is the price you pay for enjoying this wonder of nature close up.
The second was an encounter in our walkway through the outer and inner buildings of our own home. I picked up my cycling helmet to use it and discovered it full of moss and leaves. I thought the kids must have been messing at first until I noticed three small eggs in amongst the small cocoon of a nest.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Life looks harsh in nature and in life, but we forget that our God is a good God beyond anything that we can imagine and that death is not the end, and everyone will pass before Him in the next life. Perhaps all these innocent lives are there in heaven in safety enjoying His radiant shadowless light of love.
To carry on with the story, I immediately put the hat back as I found it but the damage was already done as this was a robins nest, they are known for nesting in unusual places but also for abandoning their nests and eggs if they think they have been discovered. They are protected birds as are their nests but they are also known for nesting in strange places (kettles, shoes and such) I had noticed a robin some days ago flying around in the passageway, but I had not thought anything of it. We kept the door open for some days but realised eventually the robin had abandoned the nest. Poor birds, poor life, three eggs just abandoned and now lifeless.
The next was a nest I noticed in a bush through the window of our lounge. I quickly got the zoom camera setup and after a week of observing the blackbird going in and out – I saw some heads of the three chicks popping up to chirp for more food.
This was wonderful. I was very wary to not go anywhere near this bush and so the camera was able to get a rough photo at the limit of its zoom through our window. I was excited as I now we had life in our garden. But I was constantly aware of an approaching cat each day, who tried to get near it.
I awoke one morning to an empty nest, and on inspection found a chick lifeless and mauled on the floor. The cat had got one of them at least! Hopefully the others had hidden and lay still until morning, but I didn’t feel this was going to be the case. How harsh this broken world is – sometimes by accident we cause harm and sometimes by cause intent.
The first nest had a great chance of success, a sure foundation and great positioning with a community of other birds all there for protection.
The second was very high risk, the robin making a rash decision to build her nest on a very short wait.
The third had a good chance of success and was hopeful, but mother blackbird did not seem to have the support of a partner, him to guard whilst the other is of hunting for worms and food. Both birds usually feed the chicks but I saw no evidence of this. How harsh of a life.
When I meditate on these three images I get a clear word from God, but you may get your own.
Church needs to be picked not on a rash decision, or a casual visit, but on a strong foundation of Christ. He is the rock. We need the support of friends at our church and we also need prayer partners, Jesus always sent his disciples out in pairs. Going alone to discover God, almost like a hermit can lead to success but this is risky, as there is no one to lead you and guide you when you are away from his presence. The nests were good and sound in each case but their positioning and support that each had access to was different. The blackbird nest was strong, bound with mud, twigs, moss and soft grass but once the chicks left the nest they were vulnerable.
Our church should not be too comfortable, they should challenge us, our views and our comfortable ways of life. If they are too comfortable then we will not create leaders to create more leaders and Friendships and trust is something that must hold up against all odds, as we put our faith in God and that is risky on a daily basis when we leave the comfort of our church, as this is a spiritual war and there are many casualties, but we should never forget that there are also many survivors and young leaders that are reached through these seeds that are sown.
For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them.”
When I was out on the streets looking for people that God wanted us to bless I went in a three. One person went in and engaged, one kept to the side for support and one kept back a way to get an overall view, in case there was something the people close up hadn’t notice. This is how I feel God worked with his Son Jesus. Jesus was the one who engaged, the Holy Spirit gave support and the Father had the overall view. We too can go out and have this support from the Holy Spirit but Jesus is with us, He goes with us and tells the Holy Spirit what needs to be said, the Father has always had the overall view. We all have the same destination but there paths may diverge at times.
Lord Father, I thank you for friendships close and afar. I pray that everyone today will seek the Lord, seek also a church for strength in prayer, fellowship and love and this will provide the armour they need to encounter the war and make your kingdom come here on earth.