The Storm

May 3, 2018
by Julie Bowles

In mid-April, we in Ontario, Canada, experienced an ice storm that lasted three days and covered the previously showing grass with snow and then freezing rain. Over that same period, our mountain ash tree was inundated with robins that had just returned from their winter home. They huddled in the branches and nibbled on the dried-up berries from last summer. Sometimes, they even huddled by the front porch to escape the ice and snow. At times, we had upwards of twenty robins at once, whereas we usually have only one or two on the lawn at any one time. I always have water for them in a heated bird bath.

A week later, the robins were gone, and so were the berries. I am so glad that we were able to provide a refuge for the birds, with the heated water and the berries on the tree. It wasn't until after the storm was over and the robins had left that I read that robins eat berries rather than seeds, and that robins in the area had died due to lack of food as a result of the storm. Usually the berries from our tree are gone by the end of January, yet here in mid-April, they were still on the tree.

I believe that God had a plan for the trees to still have the berries in mid-April. God knew that there was a need to provide food in April for the robins. Man could not have known in January that we would be getting an April storm that would affect the robins that had just returned to Canada from their winter home.

I also believe that God had a plan for me in this storm and the fact that I had just had surgery: I have had to stop running and just sit. I've been running from the storms of life for some time, and it's time to stop and huddle into God's protection and love and not try to do it on my own. I need to make amends in relationships that have become strained or dormant.

What about you? Do you run in a storm, or do you huddle down like the birds did and ride it out in the palms of God's hands?

Matthew 6:25-26 – Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (NIV)

God provides a refuge for us daily, and all we need to do is to go to Him. We don't need to panic; we just need to turn to Him and acknowledge our need for Him. As the verse says, He cares about the birds, so why not let Him care for you?

Jeremiah 29:11 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are sorry that at times that we run from the people whom You provide to walk alongside us. Just as the Scriptures say, You have plans for us. You care for the birds, and You care for us. In our weakness, make us strong in You, and help us to seek Your protection in the storms of life, for You will see us through them. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Julie Bowles <julieanni@rogers.com>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Julie!


    Good thoughts, Julie.


    Thank you for today’s devotional Julie.


    Thank you, Julie, for sharing this uplifting devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thank you for the devotional, it spoke to me, I do quite a bit of “running through storms” myself.
    I hope you are recovering well.


    Hi Julie
    This was so visual, I could see the robins huddled in for the protection from the storm, etc. I enjoyed it. Thanks so much and so true, God is always there no matter the storm.
    God bless.


    Hello Julie,
    Thank you for today’s devotional. Like you I have some medical storms which I have been praying for a miracle. I will be still and know that He is God and to Him be the glory.
    Wishing you speedy recovery in the name of Jesus.
    Blessings.


    Dear Julie Bowles….I can’t help it but I feel acutely sad when animals die due to circumstances such as forest fires and other conditions they are not prepared for as in the case of the robins dying because of unusual snow and cold weather conditions. God’s grand designs continue to overwhelm my understanding of the world of nature and his thoughtfulness. I love animals and I am not annoyed when raccoons come and pull apart my water feature in their quest for worms to eat.


    Dear Julie
    Thank you for your beautiful devotional.
    Trusting in the Lord is so important. Some people say… “Keep the Faith”.
    Your analogy was right on. God provides… always, if we just let Him.
    I hope you get back together with your friends. When I am trying to do this, I start by sending a note to that person… ”thinking of you” and asking how they are doing.
    May our Good Lord bless you in this and all you do for Him.


    I just want to say thanks for your message today. Yes, the ice storm affected me here but not as severely as you. I saw the robins and was concerned as well. Thank you for sharing berries as their food.
    I have a special love for robins as my grandmother, who is in heaven now, lived with us during my early years and she loved her robin and called her Alice.
    I too know what it is like to be out of the life of normal as I recovered from chemo last year. I will pray for you during this time. You will get to know GOD in a very personal way. Enjoy the journey.


    Julie this is so current in my life I could have written it. I have had one thing after another knock me down. I was in the accident of 50 cars and it pushed back the healing of my knees which were recovering from surgery. Just after that I had surgery and as result now need major surgery.
    But, like you, I have committed my life to the Lord and that includes accepting and obeying His will.
    So we cling to His promise. “I am with you to deliver you”.
    Praise His Name.


    Good words, Julie. Interesting and well written.
    Thank you and God bless, from another robin-watcher.


    Dear Julie,
    You have left me thinking, “God sees the little sparrow fall (the little Robin feed). He loves me too: He loves me too.”
    “We has one of those wet-snow storms in Manitoba this spring too, but the birds had not come before the snow. The snow plastered the east side of all trees and poles with snow that was like hoar-frost times 100, that froze on like thick wet wall-plaster, and stayed for days.
    Thank you for the devotional.
    Keep writing.
    I’m catching up after having been to my great niece’s wedding in Vancouver.


    Good to see you writing again!

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