The birds are my quiet time this morning.
There is no tranquil lake setting, no leisure morning with coffee. No quiet morning meditation. Just the high-rise lifestyle of living and working in a city of 14 million people.
And I get up 15 minutes before kids and chaos and the breakfast rush; before the dressing and brushing and backpacks and before the inevitable shoe search.
It’s not the way I prefer to do it, but some days, just getting out of bed is an accomplishment.
And after I get the kids to school, I walk half an hour to the bus stop. It’s my turn to go to school and today, I’ve got a presentation to make.
My laptop weighs heavy on my back. Anxiety pounds the pavement with each step, the prospect of me presenting a controversial topic in a foreign language among classmates half my age weakens my knees and slows my steps. A soul can grow right weary and where is backbone when you need it?
Around me cars speed and horns honk and buildings rise and when you don’t have time for God is when you need Him the most. I pray. I need vision. Faith. Solid footing. I need boldness to speak the Name. I need fresh Glory to fill me.
Overhead a flock of black birds takes flight. He speaks.
“Consider the birds of the air. They worry not. Neither should you.”
The dawn comes with that. Light shines pure grace.
Those winged creatures woke early and had no idea where or how they were going to find food. They weren’t worried.
And in utter trust and reliance upon their Maker, they took to the skies.
I could too.
“Consider the flowers of the field. I clothe them with beauty and grace. I’ll clothe you too.”
And my quiet time happens walking down a sidewalk in a city of 14 million people.
We can accessorize with Prada and perfume, we can don titles and accept flattering labels, and we can forget the simple beauty of grace. And when faced with our lack and weak, we can forget the birds, forget the blossom was once a mere seed but God clothed it.
He does that. He clothes and gives a bare body glory.
I board the bus and arrive at school and when it’s my turn, I speak the Name. I’m counting on those clothes. No Prada and silk here.
The teacher texts me after class. “I’m so happy you are in my class,” she says. “I’m a Christian too.” And I can’t believe what I’m reading! I ask Jackson to read the message to verify I really am reading it right.
Yep, teacher Gui is a Christian.
I have no idea how this will all unfold. I don’t know what God is up too. But I’m pretty sure it’s abundantly above and beyond what I could ask or think.
The next day, teacher asks me to stay behind after class. We talk in hushed tones about the Savior, about Sunday worship and the Bible and she tells me again how happy she is I’m in her class. Her happiness has nothing on me.
Something impossible grows, sprouts from the small, the raw.
“It’s wonderful to think of the fact that God can turn around a whole nation, a whole world, by using us. God uses simple things, you know that. He uses simple, mundane, everyday, routine, common things for the most amazing purposes. When He made man in the Garden, He didn’t use gold, silver, or even iron; He used dirt. That ought to give you an idea of how He works right from the start. When He called David to deliver Israel from the Philistines, He didn’t want Saul, the great king, and He didn’t want Saul’s massive armor. He used a shepherd and a couple of stones, that’s all. When He came into the world, He didn’t enter the family of the wealthy and noble, He didn’t find Himself born in a castle; He simply chose a peasant girl and a stable. When He chose the Twelve, He didn’t choose the elite, educated, and affluent. He just chose a group of ignorant Galileans. The Bible says, “Not many mighty, and not many noble.” That’s the way it always has been, because God gets the greater glory in the humbleness of the one that He uses.
So He uses us, grains of sand, to influence a corrupting world.”
Pastor John MacArthur
When did I start expecting to outgrow child-like reliance? At what age did I think I’d lose the desperation? When did I expect to be mighty and noble? Prestigious? Competent?
God uses the weak, the base, the foolish.
And praise God, I still qualify.
How about you?