It was a cool morning in Colorado. I had the blinds open, unlike recent mornings when I kept them closed to block the heat of the sun’s rays. This is why I saw the hawk, which flew right over my house and perched on a bare limb of a nearby towering cottonwood tree. A few small birds, probably sparrows, were in pursuit of the hawk, and continued to harass it as it perched on the limb. The hawk remained fairly unruffled, ignoring the birds as it surveyed the valley below. Occasionally it did lose its balance slightly, bending forward and spreading its wings just enough to gain a steadier foothold after a diving attack from a little agitator. Overall, the sparrows seemed relatively insignificant to the large hawk, perhaps no more than a pesky annoyance.
It started me thinking about spiritual warfare, and how the major attacks and onslaughts of the enemy often only serve to get us closer to our Creator, Father God. We cry out to Him when we are desperate and cling to Him through our darkest hours. He is, indeed, our hiding place and very present help in time of trouble.
Perhaps the more successful onslaught of the enemy is the battery of pesky annoyances, designed to throw us off balance and simply drive us to distraction. How well can a hungry hawk really focus on the juicy rabbits in the valley below with pesky sparrows dive-bombing his head?
We know where to go when the tragedies of life hit hard. We find the love and nearness of God to be almost palpable when life is at its toughest. He carries us through it all. But what about when the little worries of daily life begin to distract and wear us down? We feel pushed and pulled in every direction. Annoying little grievances pop up everywhere. We lose our sense of balance and forget to focus on the prize. Soon, God seems distant and quiet.
Sometimes just recognizing what the enemy is up to makes us less vulnerable…
Ephesians 6:10-18, NASB - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness , and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
1 Peter 5:8 – 11, NASB - Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.