• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Learn From Our Feathered Friends

Today I received some sad news about a friends health. I call this person a friend because he has been on my prayer list. I truly don't know if we would recognize each other in public, having only met once. I believe there is a connection with people you pray for on a regular basis. I begin my letters to this friend like this, "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1: 2 I go on to tell him that I am praying for him as I write. I pray for joy and peace to fill him and for him to know how loved and appreciated he is.

So when I got this news I was shaken. The next day I saw this quote, “no matter what yesterday was like, birds always start each new day with a song.” I think we can learn from the birds. The greater our knowledge of God’s grace and goodness, the more likely we are to praise Him in the storm! While I love to laugh, I know life brings tears and pain. Life is hard because we live in a broken world. Whenever I pray for people, I pray for whatever tough times they may be facing. It is so wonderful to know that we are never alone. Isaiah 41: 10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Not only are we not alone but God is going to strengthen us and help us. Joshua 1: 9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." We are His beloved! We are loved! We are so special! This is plenty to be grateful for during the storm.

I think it is an honor to pray for others. Even when God brings someone to mind and we do not know why. God does and He knows what they have going on. 1 Timothy 2: 1, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people…” Ephesians 6:18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.“ Thanks be to God that we can hold each other up in prayer. Even when we don't feel like we can pray, other's can intercede for us.

I think we need to learn from our feathered friends and start each new day with a song. We do not have to do this life alone. Birds also sing after a storm. I believe birds sing to praise their Creator. Matthew 6: 26, "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?" Psalm 33: 3, "Sing to him a new song..." When we look at that verse we wonder how we can sing? Our lives have just gone a very unexpected, painful path that we did not want to take. Our heart may feel like the psalmist in 137 who was in exile weeping over the bitterness of loss. He had lost freedom, his home, being able to worship. In verse four he asks, "How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” Maybe your circumstances are a foreign land right now. I think 2020 has felt like a foreign land to many.

If we go on to the end of the Psalm 33 to verses 20-22, "We wait in hope for the Lord;

he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you." God is reminding us that we don't sing based on our circumstances we sing based on where our hope comes from. That hope leads us to rejoicing and singing even in times of uncertainties. We are Easter people and our hope comes from Jesus and no one can take that away. We may not be happy with our circumstances but our joy comes from Jesus and that gives us something to sing about.

As I write this I am praying for my friend and all of you and whatever you may have going on. I pray you can sing to Him a new song today. I thank you for your friendship and “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…” Philippians 1: 3


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