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Monday, 07 November 2016 07:54

God's Fingerprints

Written by  Sam Whatley
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God’s fingerprints are everywhere, especially in the world of nature. This point came back to me as I watched a documentary about the migration of barn swallows from Africa to Europe and back.

Barn swallows are called the birds of summer. They gather into giant flocks that fly from England and Northern Europe in September to arrive below the equator where spring is just beginning. Then in the autumn month of April they depart Nigeria to fly back across the Sahara Desert to return to their European homes. Why do they do that? Because God created them with an irresistible desire to do so. It is their calling. And their calling protects them from the freezing winter. But sometimes there are hazards in answering one’s calling.

 

Consider their flight over the Sahara, a desert as large as the United States. Much of it includes ranges of jagged, lifeless mountains. The rest is a constantly changing mass of sand dunes, over a thousand miles across. Temperatures can go over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Nothing can survive on the surface for long.

 

The barn swallows instinctively know that there is a place in the middle of that scorching wasteland where water comes up from an underground reservoir.  Surrounded by palm trees, it is the only water for many miles. This looks inviting to the weary birds. But there is a catch. The water is poisoned by a high concentration of desert salt. No animal can drink it and live. Well, except for the flies.

 

 Flies love this toxic brine. A giant swarm of them buzzes across the little lake frequently. Which is good, because they are God’s provision for the barn swallows. Without landing on the sand, the swallows swoop in to snatch the flies in midair. In doing so they consume not poison, but pure water that the flies have filtered with their bodies. After a day of this feasting, the birds are refreshed and continue their long migration to Europe.

 

So what has that to do with us? Quite a bit, I think.

 

Like the barn swallows, we each have a divinely created desire to do something useful, something important in God’s sight. Some would call it a gift, a talent, or a passion. But we all have something.  Once we accept the Lord, He begins to nudge us toward the one activity or responsibility that will make us fulfilled and glorify His Name.

 

And I don’t mean just the professionals, the teachers, preachers, or missionaries. One’s calling may be caring for a child, singing in the choir, or preparing meals in the kitchen. It may be mowing the grass or driving a bus. It may be flying an airplane, building a house, or writing a poem. It may be exciting, intense, or very low key. But when it is done to the glory of God, it matches up with our personality and we feel His pleasure in our souls.

 

 However, sometimes there are roadblocks between where we are in our calling and where the Lord has called us to be. The distance can appear to be as great as the span between continents. The effort needed can seem as exhausting as crossing a burning desert. The roadblock can be financial, physical, mental, or relational. But it is there and we don’t know how to overcome it. Achieving the goal seems impossible to us. But it is not. God has a solution to our roadblocks.

 

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).

 

Don’t be turned off by the miles of burning sand, the bitter water, and the flies in your life. Maybe His answer will appear to be part of the problem, but trust Him. Look for His provision in unexpected ways and places. Then just keep on keeping on.

 

 Remember, Jesus loves you. When He sends you to do His will, He always provides for the journey. Just watch for His fingerprints along the way.

Last modified on Monday, 07 November 2016 08:01
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