I was repainting an old garden ornament in my garage when God used a beautiful sound to lift my spirit. I opened the window to hear more clearly and to see what was making it. A red-breasted robin was singing from the top of a neighbor’s tree – praising God from the depth of his being. “Always a great thing to do,” I thought. But the robin’s was not the only sound I heard. In a nearby tree two magpies were lurking. Their clacking and ticking sounds told me that they would gladly eat that robin’s eggs and chicks, and even the robin itself if they were hungry enough. I wondered if I could still praise God when those who threatened my life were nearby constantly reminding me of the danger they posed.
Then I remembered that Peter gives us these five guide-points for living in the face of such danger (1 Pet. 1:13-16 NIV):
- “Prepare your minds for action.”
- “Be self-controlled.”
- “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you.”
- “Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.”
- “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”
Peter goes on to tell us threatened Christians to consider Jesus’ example and “follow in His steps” (2:13-25). I find it challenging to follow these points and I pray that God will help me adjust my life where necessary so I can, like the robin, praise Him even in the face of danger.
Jesus said: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store … yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Mt. 6:26). What great examples birds are for us! I encourage you to follow God’s example and praise Him even in the midst of the difficulties He has given you.
By Colin Salter
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org