Murder On The Front Lawn

October 5, 1999
by Ruth Burkholder

1 Peter 5:7-11 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)

I was there; I saw it happen: murder, on the front lawn!

We were sitting in the car waiting for the play to start. In the middle of the lawn was a large blue spruce tree. Movement in the upper branches took my attention.

There was a bird's nest, and a large bird, which at first appeared to be feeding the babies. After watching for a few minutes, I realized it was a very large crow or raven attacking the nest. The babies fought back but were no match for the bigger bird. After about 20 minutes there was no more movement from the nest, and the large black bird continued its meal.

All the while there was a chorus of dismayed shrieks from the tree beside me. I never did see the birds they were coming from, but it was likely the mother who could do nothing in the face of the big bird, and a second raven standing guard near the nest. I was too far away and they were too far up in the tree for me to intervene. All I could do was watch.

I have been pondering the lesson in this for a couple of weeks. In so many ways we are like the baby birds — prey for the evil in the world. It all may appear innocent to bystanders until we are gradually killed by the blows of whatever is attacking us.

Unlike the birds' cries for help, which did not accomplish anything, we have a heavenly Father to whom we can cry. We have his promise that he will hear our cries, will come and take our burdens, and will establish and strengthen us. Even if our all-powerful Father does not immediately deliver us from every physical peril we face, He assures us that we do not suffer without hope. Jesus cried out on the cross, and, although He died, his suffering defeated the devil. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Matthew 10:31 – Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (KJV)

Prayer: Father, we thank you for your care for us. We thank you for your promise in Joel 2:32 that "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." We call upon you, O Lord, to rescue us from our problems. Give us the strength to cast our cares upon you, and to leave them there. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Ruth Burkholder <ruth.burk@sympatico.ca>
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

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