Early one spring morning, I awoke to hear little birds chirping just outside the French doors leading from our bedroom to the backyard. Intrigued at how close they sounded, I opened the drapes slowly to see a pair of little birds collecting twigs and building a nest in the eaves just above the French doors. At the time we had two small cats that loved to hunt. The younger of the two, named Dodger, focused on birds. Once he had cleared the mockingbirds from our yard (leaving only a few feathers to show that they ever existed) he went on to mourning doves (tasty but not as much sport since they were slower), and then moved on to any of the smaller birds that were foolish enough to enter the yard (and surrounding areas).
Dodger’s voracious appetite for birds (in addition to all of the canned and dry cat food we gave him), meant that building a nest in this location was a death sentence for these birds and their offspring. Each morning, I would go out and knock down their nest. I tried to explain to them the peril they were in, but they just flew some distance away, landed on a branch, and chirped angrily. No matter how hard I tried to make them understand, they just got angrier and angrier. They were determined to build themselves a nice home, and start ed their building project earlier each morning. Finally, one morning, they had almost completely built the nest by the time I went out to knock it down. That was the last morning they tried, then they left to find a more hospitable location for their nest.
This makes me wonder how often I am working really hard to build something that I think is going to be wonderful, and God comes and knocks it down, trying to explain to me that I am building someplace that is guaranteed to result in my demise. Then, each time I try again, convinced I am building something good, God knocks it down and tells me again I am trying to build someplace that is going to result in me and others getting hunted and killed.
Sometimes the things that appear to be negative occurrences may actually be God’s greatest acts of protection, steering us away from a danger we do not see, and do not understand. I wonder what warnings God gave to Lot when he insisted on building his home and his life in Sodom. What looked like a good location to Lot ended up costing him his home, his wife, his relationship with and trust of his daughters, and leaving a legacy of pain and betrayal. What would happen if we stopped and asked God if He was warning us to change directions, and then listened in quiet expectation of His answer, whether or not it was what we wanted to hear?