A Thank You Note from the Squirrels
by Dan Vander Ark
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When I opened the back door to our house the other day I found the following note taped to the door: “Deer owener of hour liddle kingdom: We, the skwirrels, jest want to say thankz for giffing to us thoz reeally good sunflour seedz every day. We, the skwirrels, uppresheate it soooo much. If we, the skwirrels, kan ever due annything fer you and the Misses, pleaze let us know. If yoo need to kontakt us just leave a note fer us up by the feeeder. Sinceerely, yer frendz, the skwirrels. PS the spellchek on hour liddle kumputer is broaken and nun of us went to skoool past the ferst graed. PPSS thanx for mooving the feaderz up into the tree sew that the dear kan’t reech our foood. They are reallly pigz”
Its fun watching the squirrels eat the sunflower seeds from our two feeders. One is fastened to the wall outside of the kitchen window and the other is in a tree about 15 feet away. Both are high enough where the deer can’t reach them (although I half way expect to see them climbing the ladder one of these days). One of them must have had a run-in with something a lot bigger than him because his side has a pretty good scar on it. We call him “Scarface” (Scarside just doesn’t have the same ring).
I sometimes wonder what their little squirrel minds are thinking, when, every morning about the same time, out they come from their nest/homes, scampering across the neighbor’s yard and making their way up the tree or ladder to our feeders. Are they wondering, “What if there isn’t any seed in the feeders today, what if TOOLKIN (The Owner of Our Little KINgdom) has forgotten about us, then what are we gonna do?” But it never fails – up they go, and lo and behold, the feeders are full. Only a couple of times have either my wife or I failed to put out seeds for “the skwirrels.” And it’s only been for a day at most (to me it looks like a couple of the squirrels could stand to lose a few ounces anyway). And I kind of think that somehow they must give thanks, because the Bible says in Psalm 148:7-13, “And praise him down here on earth…let the wild animals and cattle, the snakes and birds, the kings and all the people with their rulers and their judges, young men and maidens, old men and children--all praise the Lord together. For he alone is worthy. His glory is far greater than all of earth and heaven.”
We could take a lesson from the squirrels. First, they are totally dependant upon TOOLKIN on a daily basis. Everyday, pretty much without fail, the seeds are there. I don’t think Papa Squirrel is lying awake in the nest at night, pacing and fretting and worrying about whether or not the seeds are going to be there. “I don’t know, they have been there for 437 days straight, but what about tomorrow?!” I think he and the rest of his kin sleep really sound with contented smiles on their faces, dreaming about sunflower seed cake, sunflower seed bread, sunflower seed coffee, and sunflower seed burgers with sunflower seed French fries. In the Lord’s prayer (verse 11 of Matthew chapter 6) it simply says, “Give us today, our daily bread!” In Moses’ day the bamanna bread (thanks Keith Green) fell from heaven daily. And in Jesus’ day the population pretty much lived life on a daily basis. God knows and cares about the smallest details of our lives – and He provides for our needs on a daily basis.
Secondly, a couple of times there has been a slight interruption to the squirrels’ seed supply, but for perfectly good reasons. Just yesterday in fact I had to take one of the feeders down and thoroughly clean it out (it had been a really wet week and some of the seeds were starting to actually sprout). And I left it down overnight so that it could completely dry out. This morning Kay and I saw one of the squirrels come up the tree to the platform where the feeder sits and JUST LOOK DUMBFOUNDED! You could almost hear him say, “It’s gone! The whole supply is gone! Even the barn is gone! It’s just gone, gone, gone! TOOLKIN, WHAZZZZUPPPP???” About 7:00 I wiped out the feeder, filled it with seeds and climbed the ladder to put it back onto the platform. I thought I saw one of the squirrels pull out an acornphone and call one of his buddies on his circle of friends, “Yo Scarface, TOOLKIN is bringing the barn back, and it’s overflowing with seeds!” From their perspective it was just gone and it looked like TOOLKIN had let them down. From TOOLKIN’s perspective he was just testing their faith to see their reaction (and was cleaning the feeder so that the squirrels would have a nicer eating facility). Psalm 78 is a classic story of the recounting of God’s faithfulness to provide miraculously for the children of Israel, and the constant complaining of the children of Israel as they persistently failed to believe in God’s faithfulness to provide.
And finally, from the squirrels point of view the sunflower supply doesn’t look that great. All they see are the two little feeders. That’s it. Perhaps they wonder at times if, with the evening rays of sunshine splashing golden hues upon the crimson red roof of their squirrel feeder while its silhouetted against the lush green foliage of the trees (sorry, I just got carried away there), “We are almost out of seeds! Where are more seeds gonna come from? I’ve searched the whole neighborhood and I don’t see any sunflowers growing anywhere! Today fine, but tomorrow? WHERE WILL THE SEEDS COME FROM TOMORROW?” First, they don’t see the vast supply chain and storehouses of seeds. If they could just see what’s in the garage: two 50lb sacks of sunflower seeds. And if I could take them for a ride to Menard’s – they would be out of their little squirrel minds with excitement! Pallets and pallets of sunflower seeds! And yet that’s still not the source: if they could ride with me to eastern North Dakota and see the thousands of acres of sunflower plants and the multitude of semi truck trailers FULL of seeds! Why, they would probably faint from absolute amazement! And it’s just like that with us. Daily, God provides us with food, clothing, shelter, blessings and surprises. And yet at the end of the day we at times find ourselves thinking, “The seeds are almost gone! What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (Matthew 6:31). And we say this because of two things: first we don’t see by faith the vast storehouse of God’s provision that is available for us (Philippians 4:19 – my God shall supply all of your need according to HIS RICHES IN GLORY). And secondly, we also say this because we simply do not trust TOOLKIN! As faithful as Kay and I are with putting the seeds in the feeders, it is nothing compared to the faithfulness of Jehovah! For forty years (over 14,600 days), and without missing a single day, the manna was supplied to the followers of Moses. And there are a multitude of other examples in both the Old and New Testaments of God’s faithfulness. God cares for you! He knows what you need (Matthew 6:8) and is ready, willing and able to provide for you and your family.
Be thankful! Make sure that you write your own “letter of appresheashun” to TOOLKIN/JEHOVAH. Don’t let the skwirrels outdo your praise! Cultivate thankfulness and remember to “cast all of your anxiety upon Him, for He cares for YOU!” (I Peter 5:7).
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