Recently my birdhouse in the backyard was turned into a squirrel house after the squirrels chewed the wood to make the hole bigger. As Mike and I were eating dinner I was watching a squirrel go from the birdhouse (attached to a tree) up the tree to get a twig of oak leaves and bring them down putting them in the bottom of his house. Then back up the tree to get more. He did this over and over. The next morning, during a downpour with thunder and lightening, Mike told me to come look. Two squirrels, snuggled together on the leaves, were peeking out the hole of their new house, watching the rain. I felt God teaching me a lesson through them. When its time to work, work. When its time to rest, rest.
I have had many conversations, recently, with different people about trying to start something new, do something different, reach a goal, etc. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to get what or where we want! In my own life I have been waiting for some answers and guidance and I think I got it. I can't just talk about, envision it or believe in it, I have to work it. Just start. When it's time to work, work! Proverbs 14: 23-24, "All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly." All of these things are important but it takes work.
I remember starting my child identification business years ago and all of the cold calling I had to do. I was rejected over and over and would finally get a "yes". I tried to end a day with a yes or a hope of a yes. It took a while but it paid off and I loved my business. After about ten years I was able to sell it. Mike worked very hard building his business and was able to sell it after 20 years. But we worked hard! I think those squirrels were looking at the rain, being in a dry home, grateful for what had been accomplished.
I find myself getting overwhelmed at times trying to get something accomplished. What am I waiting for? Another sign? I need to start doing great things for God with what I already have. When He sees me using the opportunity I have now, for His glory, He will give me what I need next. He has given me gifts and abilities that I can use. Luke 16: 10, "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones..." Sometimes what we need to do is challenging and uncomfortable. There are obstacles both expected and unexpected. We have to push ourselves, often beyond what we think we can do.
Jesus told the parable of a landowner who called his servants and entrusted each with a portion of his estate. When he returned from his trip, the man asked each of his servants to give an account of what they had done with their portion. Two had taken what was given to them and doubled it! The third servant had done nothing. When asked for an explanation, the servant replied, "So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you." Matthew 25: 25 While the servant thought, "better to be safe than sorry", the master disagreed. Matthew 25: 26, "His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?'"
The KJV uses the word, "slothful". "His lord answered and said unto him, 'Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed...'" Slothful means hesitant. I am sure he was hesitant. Am I being hesitant about my dreams due to the fear of failure? Is fear holding me back? Are we going to let the fear of failure keep us from accomplishing what we want or even feel led to do? I think I have stomped all over my toes. It is time to move forward with what I already have! I am called to be a good steward of my time, money and energy. I am to be a wise steward of all the resources God has graciously given me. I should take advantage of the opportunities He puts in front of me today, being faithful and disciplined! I have to quit waiting for perfect conditions. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 11:4, "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done."
After our hard work we can sit back and thank God for the wonderful work that has been done! We can be like the squirrels, resting and knowing, "it is good".