Monday, March 28, 2011


Rosco P. Coltrain
     I am an animal lover and have been from my youth.  For me, watching a bird soar high in the sky or a gopher tortoise lumber to his den makes me stand in awe of my Creator.  There is so much variety, intricacy and beauty to behold.  Within the animal kingdom, we can learn many lessons if we will just watch God's handiwork in action.  
     Take, for example, our dog Rosco P. Coltrain.  He is a basset hound extraordinaire that has lived with us for ten years.  Mostly, he acts like floor decoration as he stretches out on his side all day long, but he is loving, funny and faithful.  Dogs are loyal creatures who are always happy to see you when you come home.  Rosco has a special routine when he sees me.  He picks up his favorite toy as an offering and brings it to me every day.  I take it gently from his mouth and tell him what a good dog he is.  This seems to make him satisfied as he curls up next to me.  We could learn a lot from dogs about being faithful and loyal.  In fact, Proverbs 28:20a reads:  "A faithful man will abound with blessings...." and in Galatians 5:22, the Apostle Paul lists "faithfulness" as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  Being loyal to our Lord, His Word, and fellowship with other believers will keep our feet on the straight and narrow path in life.  Likewise, if we would only be half as happy to fellowship with God as our dog is to see us come home, how it would delight our heavenly Father.  This is a dog lesson we need to take to heart.
     Another creature that stirs my heart and imagination is the American Eagle.  Here in Florida, we have
a large number of both bald eagles and golden eagles along with an assortment of hawks.  Watching them soar easily through the sky makes me think of the Bible verse found in Isaiah 40:31 which reads:
"...but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."  Can we feel the exhilaration of riding the currents of the wind with our troubles far below us?  This is what it is like when we trust in the Lord who lifts us up and helps us run the race called life.  We were meant to fly high and taste the freedom from sin that our faith in Christ gives to us.
     A final example from the animal kingdom is a sheep.  Our family has had some experience in raising sheep for 4-H.  Both our daughter and oldest son raised lambs and brought them to show at the county fair.  We learned a lot during that time.  Sheep are basically gentle animals, but they can be very stubborn.  They love to follow their owner who feeds and cares for them.  However, they also have a strong odor which remains in the nostrils long after you have left them.  Jesus likened us to sheep in His description of us and it seems quite appropriate.  We are a "stiff-necked" people who, like sheep, want to go our own way.  We also smell a lot when we are caught up in sin.  With Jesus as our shepherd, though, we have someone who can clean us up removing that stinky sin and keep us from the danger of temptation that can entrap us.  In John 10:14-15, Jesus said:  "I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep."  I guarantee that with the Lord leading us as our shepherd, we will know comfort, care and love like we have never experienced before.  
     I guess over the years we have had all kinds of God's creatures living on Serenity Acres both wildlife and domestic animals.  Yet I never cease to wonder at the things which God can teach us  through observing them.  When it comes to our relationship with God, we need to remember the faithfulness  of a dog.  If life seems overwhelming, we need to think of the eagle and mount up on the wings God gives to us through His Word of redemption, and when we feel alone, we need to remember that we are like sheep who need the guiding hand of our Shepherd even Jesus Christ.  All around us is the magnificence of the Lord's handiwork.  Lets soak it in and see what lessons He will teach us both in His Word and by observing His creation.  Selah!

Father, thank You for all the beauty of Your creation.  The animals You have made are precious reminders of Your Almighty design.  How marvelous are all Your creatures!  Help us cultivate faithfulness and joy in Your presence.  Teach us to soar with wings as an eagle and keep our feet on the path like sheep following their shepherd.  To You, we commit our lives this day.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

I would love to hear from you about your observations and if you want to see some beautiful photography of birds, flowers and God's creation, please visit my dear friend Pat's blog Pollywog Creek which is linked to my blog.  She is an amazing photographer too!    


Patricia said...

((((Barbara)))) I was just coming over to visit Serenity Acres for a link to your devotions and here you are sharing a link to my photos. What kind words. Thank you!!! Much love!

Barbara Thayer said...

I love your photos Pat. They are beautiful and reflect the glory of the Lord in His creation! Thanks for posting them...I hope you get many visits!

judy said...

Barb, love the March 28 blog. I have been listening to my oldest daughter's observations as she monitors 2 eagle nests for an env. co that she is doing work for. God's creatures are amazing, and we need to protect them. We have raised just about everything since Brad is a vet. Have you read the book out now, Heaven is for Real? I was so excited to hear that animals are in heaven. My husband has always felt that this was so. Keep up your wonderful blogs! Judy

Barbara Thayer said...

Thanks Judy...I do plan to get that book as I want to read it and yes, I heard about animals in heaven. I cannot imagine being without them! I love mine so much and God has made such wonderful creatures. I admire Brad's work as vets have to have so much wisdom and compassion to care for animals. Our Rosco nearly died from bloat but thanks to some great vets, he was able to make it through. Thanks for your comments!