By your endurance you will gain your souls.
It's early spring at our house.
I'm busy changing the sheets on our bed when I hear it.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
Just beneath the bedroom window.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
Too soft for a woodpecker's sturdy bill knocking against the cedar siding. What kind of bird, I wonder, is methodically, industriously, drilling away on our home?
As our window is recessed below, I have no view from here. I have to risk scaring the bird away with a visit to our deck. I open the door and move as slowly and cautiously as possible. I focus on the siding jutting out beneath the window.
No bird in sight.
Wait! Are there some dents in that knothole, the soft-spot in the cedar? Why, yes, indeed, there are!
Before I can take my next breath, the mystery is solved. A diminutive nuthatch swoops effortlessly from the nearby limb of a tree, clutches the side of the house, and begins to peck decisively, determinedly, at that very spot!
I watch, transfixed by his monumental endeavors. Surely, I think, he can't keep this up for long.
True to my thought, after several moments of intense tapping, he retreats. Only to be replaced by his mate who attacks the spot with fresh vim and vigor.
No doubt about it. These two have decided to nest here! If they succeed in opening the hole, they will have the perfect, sheltered spot to lay their eggs and hatch their babies.
Being the nature-enthusiast that I am, my elation knows no bounds. I am humbled and honored that these humorous, entertaining little birds have chosen our house above any nook or cranny they could find in the woods to raise their family.
Danny, my husband, is dubious at best.
"Even if they can peck through that knot, I'm not sure I like the idea of them nesting in our house."
"But, it's not actually in our house, " I protest. "They are in the hollow space beneath our window. What harm can that possibly do?"
He shrugs, "I suppose there's no stopping them at this point. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens."
For days, we observe the progress as these two with minds as one continue on their mission. The hole grows larger and larger until it is, at last, long and wide enough to allow them to pass easily through it.
Let the nest building begin!
This pair of nuthatches offers the perfect example of what it means to persevere, to endure, to never give up. They see an opportunity, even though the way they go is not easy. They view the obstacle, but they focus on the goal.
The word "quit" does not exist for them.
They are doing everything in their power to answer God's call to provide a safe haven for their fledglings and the propagation of their species.
They are saying, "yes" when the world around them says, "no".
By their endurance, all, for God and His world, is gained.
How can you view obstacles as opportunities, endure for the sake of your soul?
Will you pray with me?
When we stop, Father, and take time to examine and appreciate the creatures who cohabit this world with us, we can learn so much. Help us to become more observant. Guide us through this obstacle course called life. May we endure for Your sake and the saving of our souls. Amen.
Psalms 20, 21:1-7 (8-14) or 110:1-5 (6-7), 116, 117
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18