When I came downstairs this morning, there was a squirrel wrapped around the bird feeder, trying to figure out how to get to the precious sunflower seeds within. The spring-loaded feeder was doing a good job of protecting its contents, the weight of the squirrel having caused its outer sleeve to drop and close the openings. I raised the window over the kitchen sink and shooed him away, but the sleeve didn’t pop back up. Closer inspection revealed the squirrel’s determined efforts had unhooked one of the springs. I was NOT happy since this had happened once before and I remembered all-too-well how difficult it had been to reattach since the outer sleeve covered the hole where the hook resided when the spring was attached. Furthermore, I knew my feathered friends would soon be arriving for breakfast and I didn’t want them to be disappointed to find their source of food unavailable.
I brought the feeder inside and began to work, discouraged that my initial efforts to reattach the spring proved unsuccessful. As I tugged and fumbled with the hook, I prayed, “Please, Lord, help me fix this! It’s so hard. The birds count on me to feed them. I don’t want them to go hungry.” And then I saw the obvious solution which I’d completely overlooked when the spring was unhooked months ago and again this morning: the hook at the other end of the spring was exposed. All I had to do was unhook it, reattach the one at the end that was covered when the outer sleeve was raised and then reattach the hook at the lower end! Within minutes I’d refilled the once-again-fully-functioning feeder, returned it to its hanger on the deck and watched happily as the birds came for their morning meal.
As I turned to making my own breakfast it hit me: Too many times when faced with a challenge or a problem to solve I launch into self-initiated, self-sustained efforts that often prove frustrating and futile. Yet I have a Father who’s told me to ask when I lack wisdom, when I don’t know which way to go or what the best course of action is. He’s shown me time and again that his promise to instruct me and teach me, to counsel and watch over me is trustworthy.
More and more, may we begin by coming to the One who tells us to ask . . . taking time to be still before Him instead of heading off on our own . . . confident in the assurance that He always hears us and will lead us in the way everlasting.