Feb 26 2012

God’s Gift of Courage

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9

Last Sunday afternoon we got the biggest snow we have received thus far this winter—about five inches.  It was a lovely wet snow and gave me an opportunity to photograph some birds.  I have a bird feeder about ten feet from my bedroom door.  When it snows the birds flock to the feeder and I am able to open the door and actually photograph them while I sit on the bed.  For over two hours I snapped picture after picture of cardinals, chickadees, titmice and other species.  With the snow on the tree branches for a background I was able to capture some beautiful images.   The following day the snow was still on the trees so I thought I’d take some more pictures.  As I had the day before, I opened the bedroom door, set up my camera, and prepared to photograph.  An hour later I had yet to take the first image.  I had seen plenty of birds prior to opening the door but none came back to the feeder once I set up.  What happened?  Why such a big change from the day before?

The best I can figure out, the birds did not cooperate with me on the second day because it had quit snowing.  My guess is that during the snow storm the birds threw caution to the wind and didn’t let the funny looking guy sitting on his bed with his camera frighten them.  They were in survival mode and were willing to take risks they would not normally take. Apparently, storms can cause birds to do things they might not otherwise do.

I’ve discovered that the same thing is true for humans.  When storms come–and I am referring here to more than just the atmospheric kind—we, too, sometimes take risks we wouldn’t otherwise.   When our survival is at stake we often find a courage that is not necessarily there day by day.  In tough times we sometimes surprise ourselves and others with what we are able to do.

I’m convinced that the courage to take risks and rise above the storm is something God gives both man and beast (or in this case, birds).  He gives His beloved creatures both the will and the courage to survive.  This is His gift—a wonderful gift indeed!  Storms are a part of life and is good to know that God has equipped us with what we need to address them.   And if, for some reason, our courage still fails us, He is always there to see us through.  That’s just the kind of God He is!


(I took both of these cardinal pictures last Sunday afternoon here at my house.)