Friday, August 1, 2014

In God's Hand

 A scream of terror preceded the woman stumbling backwards as I strolled by.
"Are you ok?" I called out.
"A snake!" she shrieked.
"What kind?" I asked.
"A black one!"
"Oh, that's ok then," I assured her, coming across the lawn, "They aren't poisonous."
She clutched her chest and pointed at it. She was shaking. The snake was coiled, and did indeed look ready to strike. Then I noticed a baby bird hopping on her porch.
"He's after the bird," she cried, "What do I do!?"
I clapped my hands and shouted, "Go away, snake."
He seemed unimpressed.
She had a hose right there, so I told her to turn on the water, and I squirted it at the snake. He slithered away. Next, I caught the baby bird, who had toppled out of a low planter on her porch. He fluttered right out again, just on the cusp of being able to fly.
"He's not going to stay in," I said. The mama bird was nearby, watching. So I coaxed the baby into a bush, on the other side of the porch from the snake.
"It's in God's hands now," I said.

I am working my way slowly through the book of Isaiah. It is one of my favorite books of the Bible so I read just a few verses at a time, and then meditate on them for a while. It has such an incredibly hopeful message for those who are feeling abandoned and hopeless. Seemingly out of nowhere, Messiah will spring forth! He will bring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and open the doors of the prisons. He who created us will never forsake us. We will be redeemed. We will be saved! 

I traveled on, after reassuring the distraught woman that the mama bird would still return to the baby and feed it. At any rate, the baby was near ready to be on its own. I just hoped he perfected his flying before the snake returned. But I felt hopeful for him - he was in God's hand, and truly, there is no better place to be.

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Isaiah 43:1-5
1 But now thus says the Lord,
 he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
 I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
 when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
 I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
5 Fear not, for I am with you;

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