Carefree in the Care of God

waxwings in the ash tree ch DSC_0321

I looked out the window above my computer. This is what God’s voice sounds like — the rush of wings. This is what God’s voice looks like — birds feasting on berries in a mountain ash tree on a cold Canadian winter morning.

I was worrying. I went to the pharmacy this morning, expecting to pick up a prescription. It’s a unique medication formulated for a unique condition. (My case is “complex,” the doctors say, nearly every time I see them.)

The dear people who faithfully count out my pills told me they were just informed that the medication was on back-order and the company didn’t expect to be able to send any in the dosage I require until July. They seemed as shocked as I was.

This is not a medication one can suddenly stop taking without dire effect. I have an eight day supply left. My pharmacist is working to find a solution.

I was sitting here at my desk not feeling frantic with worry, but somewhat perturbed with worry when I heard a rush of wings and saw a flock of birds swoop past my window. The breeze they stirred up shook the panes slightly and immediately caught my attention.

In unison, they flew away, circled around the neighbourhood, then flew back. Then they flew away again. When they returned, they landed on the mountain ash tree, full of red berries ignored by other over-wintering birds and hanging from branches too high for the deer to reach.

It’s like a feast of unique red fruit was prepared months ago during the long hot days of summer and now, it beckons. A table spreads before them in the winter wilderness of snow and ice.

I suddenly remembered Jesus talking about his heavenly Father providing for the birds. All morning, well all week, really, I have teetered on the teary brink of feeling like I felt so often during my childhood — unnoticed, unimportant, out of step, and out of season in a wrong place/wrong time sort of way.

The unspoken question as faint as a birdwing fluttered in my heart: Do you see me? Do you care? Will you look after me when my own responses to “take care of yourself” are not enough?

The birds whooshed away and whooshed back a few minutes later. I watched. I listened. I heard.

“Take the carefree birds as your example,” He said to my heart. “Do you ever see them worry?”

“They don’t grow their own food or put it in a storehouse for later. Yet God takes care of every one of them, feeding each of them from his love and goodness.

Isn’t your life more precious to God than a bird? Be carefree in the care of God!”

(Luke 12:24 TPT)

He’s got this.

 

8 thoughts on “Carefree in the Care of God

  1. Lois Martin

    Oh, Charis! All thanks and praise to our loving heavenly Father who sees us and works far in advance to provide everything we will need!!! Much love and great peace to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allan Halton

    The unspoken question as faint as a birdwing fluttered in my heart: Do you see me? Do you care? Will you look after me when my own responses to “take care of yourself” are not enough?

    “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father.”

    Praying for you, dear sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Charis,
    I’m a new reader of your posts, which I’m enjoying, by the way. 🙂 I thought this one especially beautiful and vulnerable. Especially since, I guess, I’m going through an experience of dealing with some “unknowns” myself. Not just with a scary issue that I need to trust God with, but also with trusting Him with “letting go” of inspiration received, and then expressed in writing.

    Also, I read your message yesterday, and the following excerpt by T.A.Sparks was in my inbox. (down below)

    After reading it, I inquired of Father how exactly to describe this big “purpose” that Christ, and we as His followers, are a part of. The answer, was to die. :-O Not necessarily physically, but at least it is something we need to be okay with – the fear of which we need to overcome, that is. But first, the challenge is to die to all expectations that we will see the fruit of our lives here, in this world. Like the Maser, He supposedly died a failure in so many senses of the word, but oh! How we who know and love Him know otherwise! What we really need is more and more of Christ’s disciples to “take up this cross,” and like Him, accept the way of unpopularity, misunderstanding, humility, poverty, and ultimately…death… all in hope that HIS seed, in and through us, will bear abundant fruit for Him when we are gone from this world.

    I believe this is your destiny, too, and mine. The enjoyment of it, is a process.

    Much love Charis.
    Pamela

    *February 5*

    /All things work together for good, for those who are called according
    to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)/

    The Lord Jesus derived much strength from this knowledge of purpose
    with which His life was bound up. There is no doubt that we too shall
    get strength from that sense of purpose, that consciousness of a
    divine vocation which is ours. That is why the enemy always tries to
    discourage us. He seeks to raise questions and doubts in our hearts as
    to the reaching of the goal, telling us that our labor is in vain. If
    he succeeds to rob us of that sense of purpose in our life, to make us
    doubt with regard to our testimony, our work, or the value of the
    suffering we have to go through, we shall lose our strength and the
    enemy will get the upper hand.

    Jesus Christ was maintained in God’s strength all the way through,
    because He was dominated by the sense of His mission, because He kept
    firm His purpose. If we hold fast the purpose of our life, if we keep
    in view our heavenly calling, we too shall be maintained in strength.
    But if we try to fulfill some ambition of our own, if we carry out our
    own programs, if we keep some movement going, there will be no divine
    resources available for us. In order to be maintained in strength it
    is essential that we know that we are in the purpose of God. Our
    service must always be the result of a divine purpose. It is of the
    greatest importance for us to realize that we have a place in God’s
    plan. We have to deny ourselves. In God’s purpose there is no room for
    personal interests. “/To them that love God,/” to them whose heart
    is taken up with God and the fulfillment of His purpose, “/all
    things work together for good, even to them that are called according
    to His purpose./” That is a definite statement showing believers are
    called into a Divine purpose. We have got to know as definitely as the
    Lord Jesus knew, that we are in God’s purpose.

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    1. Thank you, Pamela! I do appreciate your comment so much. You are obviously a person who likes to reflect and go deep. You are helping me clarify some things in my own mind. Seeing the big picture beyond our lifetimes and aligning with that? Yes! And I agree with Mr. Sparks about the futility of using divine resources for personal ambition. If no one but God ever saw anything we created, but we were responding to his heart, he would still say, “Well done, faithful servant.”

      I have taken time to ponder what you have written and since this is the second time this week someone has spoken to me about the same subject (dying) I know it needs attention. The problem I had earlier this week is that my friend (whom I love dearly) and I do not always use words in the same way. I had trouble understanding her. I don’t presume to know exactly what you mean either, so can I clarify what I mean?

      God’s purpose: I think Jesus described this in John 10:10 “But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!” (TPT) And John 3:16 “…that whosever believes in him (Jesus) should not perish but have everlasting life.”

      Dying to self: Aligning our hearts to God, that is, recognizing that the “old man” is dead. It was crucified with Christ. The self-serving self-indulgence that was part of the sin that tripped us up was a result of trying to live without him. We are being renewed in our thinking as we become more alive in Christ.

      “But because the Messiah lives in me, I’ve now died to the law’s dominion over me so that I can live for God. My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine! (Gal 2:19, 20 TPT)

      Submission: I love the story of how Peter finally allowed Jesus to wash his feet. Shame kept him from letting Jesus clean him. Submission is letting Jesus do in us and for us, what we think we are responsible for ourselves. The lesson was repeated when Peter announced he was willing to take up the sword and die for Jesus. His utter failure was necessary as it led to his “death to self” admission and a realigning to Christ’s purpose in the story of the risen Lord and the charcoal fire on the beach later. To me, submission is laying down my sense of self-sufficiency and accepting God’s cleansing and renewing power. It means offering whatever he has given me and allowing him to re-purpose it for his glory. It means learning my identity in Christ – the way he sees me – and living in that identity and celebrating the interests and passions he placed in my heart as an act of worship.

      I also like reading T. Austin Sparks. I came across this just today: “We have not to die; we are dead. What we have to do is to accept our death… [In] baptism… we simply step in there and say, ‘That position which God has settled with reference to me is the one which I now accept, and I testify here in this way to the fact that I have accepted God’s position for me, namely, that in the Cross I have been brought to an end.'”

      There was a time I spent a lot of effort on “dying daily” and finally realized it was, for me, another self-motivated effort to appease a god who was perpetually disappointed in my performance. I actually needed to stop “dying” and learn to live. “But because the Messiah lives in me, I’ve now died to the law’s dominion over me so that I can live for God.” Gal. 2:19

      I totally believe that living for God means submitting to his purpose, to be motivated, as he was, by joy and seeing the big picture culminating in perfect relationship with the Trinity and all the saints. It is so easy to be entangled and slowed down in this race when we give in to the temptation to use anything he has given us to soothe our own wounded egos or for self-aggrandizement. If we live and move and have our being in Christ, then giving all we have (creativity for you and I in this example) for an audience of One is enough. His smile is sufficient reward. Perhaps that is what you mean by dying – learning to reckon as dead our need for recognition and understanding from other people. In that case, yes. I agree. But I am learning that the best way to leave the old man in his grave and not dig him up daily so I can re-crucify him, is to learn to live the life I now live by faith.

      I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20

      I might die sooner than I thought I would from the physical problems that assail my body at the moment. Whatever God wants — but I keep reading His words about hope and healing and trust in his faithfulness. I choose to focus on life. Abundant life. Eternal life. On earth as it is in heaven.

      I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

      Blessings on your beautiful heart, Pamela. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  4. Dear Charis, Thank you for expounding on your understanding of this “dying” that we take up in Christ, which I believe you are saying is actually living abundantly in a beautiful, ongoing dance of submission. We think of dying as miserable, don’t we, but isn’t that one of the many things that Christ turns rightside up…to make it something that we share WITH Him, not apart from Him. When we take anything and examine it separate from a relationship with HIM, it brings misery, hopelesness, and loneliness. But I too wish to choose, with you, that kind of death (both through this life, and into the next) that brings life and life more abundant. 🙂 – Pamela

    Like

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