Monday, 15 July 2013

Little Black And White Soldier

As I drew the curtains closed in the girls room this afternoon, I spotted a magpie standing in our front yard. It instantly reminded me of the magpie I saw with a friend while in Sydney just last week. My friend and I were engaged in a great conversation while we were walking out of the communal dinning area, when we stopped to observe a magpie that was frozen still, beak facing the brick wall of the lodge in front of us. It just stood to attention like a little black and white soldier. It didn't flinch.

We looked at each other puzzled as to why this weird little fellow was acting the way he was. As we gazed around us we saw that, only a couple of metres away from the magpie, stood its enemy, a butcher bird. This butcher bird was scanning with alert and beady eyes, intent on finding the magpie and completing its attack. Its gaze was piercing. I found myself pondering on this magpie and asking myself, "why doesn't it just fight back?" Magpies are known for their defensive behaviour, especially when their young are involved. But this magpie stood, bound by fear, up against that wall with nowhere to go.

Maybe we aren't so different from that Magpie. We have an enemy that stalks around searching for us and thinking of ways to destroy us, and sometimes his relentless attacks can leave us standing stock still, up against a brick wall, seemingly without any way of escape or defence. Crippled by fear.

The bible tells us that
"the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

We can become so engulfed in fear, we forget that
"greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world" (1 John 4:4 NIV).

We continued to see the magpie remain in that position, defenceless, for at least the next half an hour.  It. Didn't. Move.

And then, I realised why this magpie was so ineffective in defeating its enemy. It was on the same level as it. Magpies defend themselves by swooping down from a high vantage point on their unsuspecting enemy. This magpie was trapped with no where to go. If it could only manage to reach a higher platform, have a different perspective, from which it could go into battle with its foe, then it would stand a very good chance of making the enemy flee.

Sometimes, most times, when it comes to fear, you and I must do the same thing. We must get our minds to a higher platform, that of the mind of Jesus Christ, and swoop down with the word of God and our armour on to break the enemies grip of fear. To see above that brick wall; to swoop time and time again until he knows that he has no power to keep us still and crippled any longer.

2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP) tells us
'For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control."

1 Peter 3:14 (NIV) tells us
"But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened."

We can be assured that regardless of the extent of our circumstances and the level of our fear, that God loves us. His love chases after us, it's unending. He IS perfect love. When we let ourselves drink in that love that He so freely offers us (regardless of our shortcomings) we can be at peace and free from fear.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear ... " (1 John 4:18 NIV).

When we remain in God's Word, in prayer and in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, we become better equipped to fight against the enemies plans. I can't help but wonder if that magpie had had the help of some other magpies, would he have been built up and more effective and capable to overcome, rather than trying to hide himself away on his own?

Isaiah 41:6 (CEB)  encourages us  ...
'Each helps the other, each saying to the other, "Take courage!"

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7 NIV)

Romans 8:37 (NIV) strengthens us when Paul reminds us that
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

We went on our way to the conference soon after seeing that little soldier, and I don't actually know how his little battle ended. I like to think however, that he won. That he puffed out his chest, strengthened his flanks ... and conquered.


For more verses to encourage you read: Psalm 91, 121:8; Joshua 1:9.

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