Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lessons From The Pond

Just outside my apartment approximately 12 feet away is a small pond with a water fountain located near the center. This setting brings with it some wild life. There are Canadian Geese, turtles, minnows, a couple of sand cranes, a frog that sings bass, a raccoon, American Black Ducks and more. I’ve found myself quite taken with these ducks to the point of trying to find individual makings in order to name each one. Admittedly, that has not been a successful task.

What seems to continuously amaze me is how much I seemed to have learned from watching my new little friends and today I feel called to share one insight with you.

These American Black Ducks seem to spend much time cleaning themselves. As Google is my friend, I dragged my laptop outside and began to ask why. What I discovered is that ducks have a “Preen Gland” near their tail. The duck spreads this oil over his/her body as a form of waterproofing. The duck picks up the oil with its head and beak, and then smears it all over its body to make the outer feathers waterproof. Without this protective barrier, a ducks feathers would become water-logged and because they spend their whole lives around and in water, this water-proof barrier is extremely important. Beneath the water-proof coat are fluffy and soft feathers which keep the duck warm. (animalcorner.co.uk)

Somehow this behavior brought to mind the Armor of God as found in Ephesians 6.10-18

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...."

If we don’t put on this armor much like the ducks spread their oil, we will become waterlogged in ways of the world. Our struggles have little to do with flesh and blood and much to do with our spiritual battles.

Can we learn from the ducks? Will you take time each and every day to preen yourself by arming yourself with what God has given you?

Will you pray with me?

Loving God, I put on the belt of truth. Thank You that You provide us with the truth and that the truth has set me free. Next, I put on the breastplate of righteousness, which I know I have protecting me because Jesus is in my heart. Then I fit my feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, and I pray that I will walk in peace today and take every opportunity to share the Good News with those I meet. I take up the shield of faith to guard my heart against all the flaming arrows of the evil one. I put on the helmet of salvation to protect my mind. Then, fully clothed in my spiritual armor, I take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and the only true weapon I have to fight the raging battle that surrounds me. Thank you for protecting me this day and every day. In your many names we pray – Amen.

Pastor Steph


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