The first time I added stale biscuits to the birdseed, Magdi smelled them and wormed her way through the azaleas. I noticed because of the scuffling against the side of the house. I watched as she stood on her hind legs, trying to reach the biscuits. She never knew I was there until I growled, “Nnnnnnnnno!” with a prolonged and ever increasing “n” sound. The poor thing tucked her tail and ran so fast the azaleas shook for a full five minutes.
Then there is the squirrel. He has always approached from the east side of the feeder, and unless I am right there can sneak up and eat as much as a foot long line of seed before I catch him. A thump on the wall sends him scampering away. The first time I caught him he tried again a few minutes later, so I hit the window right next to him. I think his leap missed the azaleas entirely as he fled the scene.
One morning he thought he had this Unseen Force fooled. After I thumped the wall, he retreated down the leg of the feeder only a few inches. How did I know? Because his tail stood straight up next to it, a good six inches above the edge. I let him think he had the advantage for a minute or so, and when he had barely crept onto the board again, gave the wall an extra hard thump. No more squirrel for a week after that.
The other morning, he came up with a new tack. I was sitting in my chair when suddenly I saw two little paws appear over the outside edge of the feeder, but on the west end. A moment later a furry head came up over the edge in a squirrelly pull-up. This time I had some help. The cardinals in the azaleas all swooped down on him at the exact moment I chose to tap the window in front of him. He fell back into the azaleas with all fours spread, his eyes wide, and what I am sure was an amazing squirrel scream, frantically twisted and turned in mid-air like a cartoon character spinning his wheels, and finally hit the ground running.
Was that the end of this interloper? No, he keeps trying. Like a baby who covers his face with his blanket and thinks he is hidden, the squirrel still has hope that one day he will be able to dine to his heart’s content and no one will see.
He is just like us. No matter how many times we talk about the “omniscience” and “omnipresence” of God, we still think we can hide from him. Why else do we keep doing what we do? We are no better than Adam and Eve hiding after their disobedience, though every Bible class I have been in scoffs openly at them when the subject arises.
We quote the Lord is at hand, Phil 4:5, and then behave as if we don’t really believe it. Do we not realize what that means? The Lord is within arm’s length, always—that’s what it means. He is standing next to us at the kitchen counter, sitting across the office desk from us, standing in the line at the grocery store with us, or sitting in the front seat of the car beside us. He sees what we do, hears what we say, knows what we feel and think. If we really believed it, wouldn’t it make a difference? We are sometimes no better than a dumb animal that thinks it can eventually find a way to hide if it just keeps trying, and just like a small child playing peek-a-boo, whose limited perspective keeps him from realizing what others can see.
Remember today who is at your side. It isn’t a threat; it’s an asset, a blessing that will help us be who and what we really want to be.
The eyes of Jehovah are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good, Prov 15:3.
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