My cat (Nicky) is a highly trained, professional killer. It makes no difference to him what type of critter it is, squirrels, birds, moles, it doesn’t matter; he stalks them and he kills them. And, he really likes it! There’s only one thing he seems to enjoy as much as he does being an agent of death, and that’s “love time with Daddy.” He will sit, lay, whatever, in my arms as long as I’ll let him.
Earlier this morning we were spending some time together on the back deck. He was sprawled out in my lap like some kind of feline rag doll, when all of a sudden, this bird lands on the handrail about ten feet from us. Nicky immediately notices him, but does little more than lift his head a bit. Well, the bird begins to hop along the handrail, slowly getting closer and closer to us. He finally stops about four feet from us, and I’m thinking that I’m getting ready to feel claws enter my legs, because Nick is going to spring from my lap and “help” his fellow creature on into the next life.
I could feel Nicky tense slightly as the bird sat there looking all around like birds do with that jerky head twitch thing they’ve got going. I gave Nicky a gentle squeeze, but made no attempt to restrict his movements. The bird gave one final head twitch and flew up onto the branch of a nearby tree, having no idea of how close he had been to his demise. That’s when the Spirit whispered in my heart.
In the Bible, birds are often used as a metaphor for evil. Jesus used birds in the parable of The Sower (Mark 4) to illustrate how the devil can come, swoop down, and snatch the seed of the gospel that has been sown into people’s lives. In Revelation 18:2 unclean birds are used to illustrate the spiritual disposition of “Babylon.” I thought about the bird Nicky & I saw today. I thought of how Nicky had chose to stay with me instead of trying to catch the bird, and it dawned on me that the safest place for us to be when “the birds” come into our lives is in the love of God.
We all have temptations and distractions that come our way, but as we abide in the love of God, our intimacy with him is that which captivates us, causing us to resist chasing after “the birds,” and to prefer the fellowship of the Lord over the fleeting desires we so often chase. As with Nicky and “critter killing,” you & I are highly trained professional sinners, and we like it! The only solution is “love time with DADDY.”
As we come to the Father, through the cross and shed blood of Jesus, we become new creations in Christ. The Spirit of God begins to change us, making us into the image of Jesus who continuously stayed in the Father’s love. As we abide in Jesus, obeying him, and surrendering our lives to him on a daily basis; we began to understand that chasing after “the birds” can in no way compare to the love of God poured out in our hearts by his Spirit. So, what’ll it be; that measly little bird over there on that handrail, or DADDY’s love?