The Rabbit or the Squirrel?
This summer, we've had a plethora of rabbits around our neighborhood. Nibbling on tufts of grass, settling deep into patches of clover, and devouring our petunias, the pointy-eared hares have thrived amidst the heat wave we have experienced.
Most mornings when I head out the front door to go to work, there is usually a rabbit or two nestled deep into the grass in our front yard. And when I slowly back out of the driveway, they perk up their ears but stay motionless until I reach the boundary of their comfort zone. Instead of fleeing, they sit up on their hind legs, hop two or three times away from the car, and then settle back into the grass. Apparently, the local rabbit strategy was to monitor the surroundings, assess the situation, and carefully determine the next steps.
Now the squirrels in our neighborhood, pardon the pun, are a completely different animal. Driving out of our cul de sac, if a feasting squirrel spots my car, it will freak out. Though I am moving slowly, this bulging-eyed, fuzzy-tailed sprinter will dart into the road, freeze for a millisecond, then dash back towards the curb. Pausing for a second, it will suddenly bolt back out into the middle of the road narrowly missing my tires. The local squirrel strategy? Instantly panic and frantically react in chaotic scurrying.
The observed contrast between the behavior of the rabbit and the squirrel was humorous... at first. That was until the Lord challenged me with a simple, pharisee-offending question.
Driving to work one morning, I found myself distracted by several unresolved situations that were, using the imagery of 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, setting themselves up against my knowledge of God. And, though over the last six years, I've been learning to be intentional about guarding my spiritual rest, deliberate in choosing to abide in Christ, and purposeful in taking my thoughts captive, I was starting to feel a little rattled by the uncertainty.
As I turned onto a tree-lined street in my neighborhood, the Lord gently interrupted my anxious internal monologue with a question that cut through the murky fog of my thoughts. "Are you going to be a squirrel or are you going to be a rabbit?" My racing mind was silenced with that divine mic-drop.
Reflecting on their contrasting behavior, I thought, "Am I going to spaz out like the squirrel, frantically darting around trying to fix these unresolved situations, or am I going to "Be still and know" and listen for and respond with the counsel of the One who promises, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go"? Am I going to bolt with countless near misses of being run over by these circumstances, or will I seek the gracious guidance of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to carefully discern my next steps?"
The answer was obvious.
Perhaps as you are reading this, there are unsettling circumstances and unresolved situations that are screaming for your attention and begging for your reaction and your response. May I ask you what the Holy Spirit asked me? Are you going to be a squirrel or are you going to be a rabbit?
God's invitation to us is simple. "Are you tired and anxious? Are you worried and afraid? Are you distraught and freaking out? Come to Me. Bring Me your questions, and your concerns, and I will exchange them. For your questions, I will give you peace. For your ashes, I will give you beauty. For your mourning, I offer you joy. In exchange for your fear, I will provide perfect love. Abide in Me. Rest in the kind intention of My will."
Precious one, allow "petitions and praises to shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life" [Phil 4:6-7 MSG].
So what about those 'unresolved situations'? I can testify that with intentional kindness, God led me through, step by step, phone call by phone call, conversation by conversation, grace upon grace, and mercy upon mercy. And, I believe He will do the same for you, beloved.
And, "Now, may the Lord himself, the Lord of peace, pour into you his peace in every circumstance and in every possible way. The Lord's tangible presence be with you all" [2 Thes 3:16 TPT]. Amen.
This song by a dear brother, John Chisum, has been a great comfort in times when chaos has been threatening to overthrow peace in my heart. Praying Grace Upon Grace will settle your anxious heart and flood your mind with waves of God's grace.
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