"Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit Who lives in us." 2 Timothy 1:14 (NIV)
There's an ongoing saga throughout my blog archives of my squirrel-y battles. Oh, if my neighbors are watching me, they either laugh hysterically...picture my pink robe, bedhead still glaring, hair completely askew, armed with my Red Ryder BB gun... or they live in fear of my sanity.
My husband and I love birds. We try to provide abundantly for them, especially during the winter months. But we have an ongoing war with the squirrels and their gluttony. Hence the Red Ryder.
So this morning...my first free Friday in several weeks...one that I earmarked for sleeping in a little (actually glad that didn't happen), leisurely time in the Word, an appointment to do some writing, and perhaps take a walk on this lovely day. I grabbed my coffee...in my favorite Sonny's Grill mug...and headed to my "office"...that is actually my recliner, about 6 feet away from the bird feeders (with a window between us, of course).
As often is the case...don't know why I feel the need to confess to the masses that read my blog (lol)...the internet got in the way of my plan. First I thought, "I'll just glance at my email." Well, there was an email from a friend who just got married and had posted pictures of her wedding on Facebook...which I'm not on...but can go through my hubby's inactive account...to see if my daughter is "friends" with her. Complicated. Of course I got distracted by looking at various people's photos and walls...the reason that I don't have an account of my own! Then I read a couple of blogs. Poof! Over an hour gone and no quiet time in the Word or writing done!
So the Holy Spirit had to intervene (refer back to the verse above)!!!
He did it through squirrels...persistent little critters.
So here's how He used them:
1) Laughing as I write this one...to get me up and moving...part of the exercise I need to prevent "recliner booty"! Yep! Repeatedly I have lowered the foot rest, jumped to my feet, gotten out of slippers and into street shoes, snuck (Is that a word?) briskly out to my screened in porch, and raised the Red Ryder, cocking it repeatedly. Surely that counts as both upper and lower body movement!
Now, I must interject here that as I wrote the remainder of this point and part of point 2, my internet went totally wonky. I prayed for God to save my post...which kept blaring to me in angry red words that it could not save. I kept pressing "Save Now"..."Save Now"...to no avail...hmmm, another post for another day. So...while I was hoping for my internet to somehow miraculously reconnect and save my post, I figured that the Holy Spirit was moving me to get on some clothes and get some real exercise. And I did. Loved it...though I'm dreadfully out of shape. The birds...and me...were lifting some sounds of praise. The wind enveloped me with the Father's love. Aaaah.
Yes, I've got to take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit...physically..."to guard it well, for it is my life." (Proverbs 4:13) That verse actually applies to instruction..."to hold on to it and not let it go"...which applies...and leads me to the next point.
2) Because I think like a devotional writer, my mind was all over what lessons I could take from my determination to guard those bird feeders...so I was led to search the word Guard on biblegateway.com. Mission accomplished! God got me into His Word!!! I think I read almost 200 verses with some form of the word "guard" in them...instructing me...challenging me...reminding me...and encouraging me.
Let me share some!
First, this is just so cool! Psalm 97:10 tells us that "...He guards the lives of the faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked." In Deut. 32:10, we are told, "...He guarded him as the apple of His eye." Don't you just love being reminded that we are the apple of His eye...and watched over by God!!! And then in Proverbs 7:2, we are given a reciprocal challenge..."Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye." I am His...and He is mine.
I love this, too. One of my favorite hymns (which I just don't hear enough of these days) is the one that says "I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day." I found the basis for those words in 1 Timothy 1:12, which in the NIV says that He "is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him". And then...so amazing...the words (from my key verse above) call us to "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you." He guards. We must in return also guard.
Thirdly, the reminder to "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Prov. 4:23 We must.
And finally, the challenges to "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous, be strong." 1 Cor. 16:13 And to "Be on guard! Be alert! you do not know when that time will come." speaking of His return!! (Mark 13:33) Come, Lord Jesus!
So, yeah, all this from squirrels and a BB gun. God works in some crazy ways!!
Thank You, Lord, for your persistence in drawing us into Your presence. Thank You for standing guard over our lives...and all we have entrusted to You. Help us to be on guard and in steady pursuit of You, keeping You and Your instruction as the apple of our eyes!