There’s a small, fairly dead-looking tree in our garden that is actually one of my favorite. Everyday a small congregation of different birds come to perch on its branches, catching the sun as they do so.
Yesterday was a cool but sunny one. Early in the morning I sat on my veranda, overlooking that tree. A kingfisher had come for a rest and a warm in the gentle morning sun. It sat for a while, and then flew off. Shortly after, two or three barbets arrived, twittering and chatting noisily to each other, stretching their wings and drying their feathers. They too stayed a while and then flew off, ready to tackle their day.
As I sat there, watching all these comings and goings, I heard the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit. Those birds know where to come when they need warmth, when they want to rest or when they just want to chat and bob about. They know they can see clearly from that spot, no leaves or other trees obscure their view. They know to visit regularly.
I felt challenged. If those birds have a place of returning, a place of rest and restoration, how much more do I have need of such a place myself? A particular room in the house or a certain spot in the garden where I can quietly sit with Jesus, undisturbed by the sounds of family life, the beep of technology? Somewhere I can be warmed by His presence, rested by His kindness, envisioned by His sight?
Jesus promises that He is with us always, that He never leaves us or forsakes us. He is at our side, every moment of every day (Matthew 28:20). But there are those times when withdrawing is necessary, taking a little time-out essential. Jesus himself frequented hilltops and early mornings.
None of the birds in my tree stay long, but they do come often. They gather, they recharge, they fly away. The tug of the Holy Spirit, as I pondered, was strong. I can’t hope to soar on wings like eagles’, have my strength renewed or run without weariness if I’m not first ‘waiting on the Lord’ (Isaiah 40:31). I may not have hours to spare, but I do have minutes on most days of the week. Minutes during which I can meet deliberately with Jesus and bask in His love for me before heading off out into the rest of my day.
‘Come to me … and I will give you refreshing for your souls’ Matthew 11:28 (AMP)