I always go to sleep at night in our kitchen. And as I’m dozing with my beak tucked in under my wing, I often hear a range of different sounds. The large cooling machine known as ‘the fridge’ sometimes hums when it needs to lower its temperature. And there can be loud snores and snuffles if the elderly Labradors are sleeping with their noses squashed against the side of their bed. And quite often, my owner and his wife set the dishwashing machine going before they head up for bed, so I end up with a couple of hours of watery sounds.
But the other night, I heard a very strange set of noises. And they weren’t coming from inside the kitchen; instead, the sounds were being made outside in our garden. And it sounded as if someone was rather cross and doing a great deal of huffing and puffing. After some moments, my owner heard the noises as well, and to satisfy his curiosity, he ventured down in his pyjamas and disappeared out into the garden. It was pitch black outside and as he had no torch, he relied on the light from the kitchen to guide him towards where the main culprit was lurking, -somewhere behind our fig tree. But there was more than just the main culprit out there! In fact, my owner came across not one, not two, but three, very amorous hedgehogs, and it was clear that the large male was finding it extremely hard to contain his excitement. After enjoying the spectacle for a few minutes, my owner came back inside, and we all went to sleep again, lulled off by all of the huffing and puffing.
And this little episode made me thing about how different the nighttime world is out in our garden when compared to what we are used to during the daylight hours. Apart from hedgehogs, there’ll be armies of slugs advancing towards the lettuce patch; big juicy beetles scurrying around intent on their business; foxes scavenging around under the bird feeders; and lots and lots of field mice, darting around under all available foliage, trying to hide from any passing owls. Yes, we all get used to what we know and experience, but there’s a whole different world out there that we rarely see. And it’s a bit like that with the physical and the spiritual. We can all become so fixed on the physical world around us, that we fail to notice the spiritual presence of God in our lives. And that’s rather sad. Because God is all around us even though we can’t physically see Him. Every morsel of goodness that we have inside isn’t there by chance. No, it’s a little piece of God inside us, and if we look very hard at others, then we can see a little piece of God inside them too, -perhaps in their eyes, or their smile, or simply in some of the good things that they do for others. And maybe some humans need to put on a special pair of glasses so that they can see firsthand, the other extraordinary world that exists within and around them, and to know that that they are not only very special in the eyes of God, but also watched over and loved on a daily basis. And I have to confess that this thought is even more beautiful than the stunning beauty of my feathers!
“And most of all, remember that He who rose from the dead, rose to pour out His Holy Spirit into human lives, and, by that Spirit, to make available to any individual all of the fulness of Himself, twenty-four hours a day.”
(Ray C. Stedman: [1917-1992] American evangelical Christian pastor and author)
“The Spirit-filled life is not a special deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.”
(A.W. Tozer: [1897-1963] Prominent American Christian pastor and author)
“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)