Birds, brokenness, and God’s track record


Peregrine falcons are interesting. They are fast and they are committed. These birds keep the same mate for life.

The only reason I have even heard of these particular falcons is from working at the Ironton Tribune and doing a story once about some fledglings that were in a nest on the Ironton-Russell Bridge. The falcons were going to be banded and named in a ceremony of sorts, open to the public.

I was able to climb on the bridge and be close to their nest and get a couple of pictures and it wasn’t pleasant. I am terrified of heights and water, so a bridge that is in such bad shape it is about to be torn down was not my favorite. I prayed a bunch.

These tiny falcons were to be temporarily removed from their nests by wildlife experts, taken to a picnic shelter at the base of the bridge, and given a tiny ID bracelet around their tiny falcon legs. Then some students who had been studying them were going to name them.

Though the little falcons would only be away from their parents for a short time, and then carefully returned to their nests, their mom and dad had no idea what had happened to them.

The screeches and squawks above the Ohio River were kind of heartbreaking, knowing that these loving parents were so scared and so helpless, swooping and flying all around the bridge in a panic, and not realizing their babies and their situation were safely in the hands of professionals.

There have been so many times in my life that I have felt like that falcon couple. I felt fear and panic, and began my own screeching and squawking, wondering why something has happened, why it seemed like there was no one to help and nothing I could do. And, like the falcons, I didn’t see that I had a Professional in control of the situation the entire time.

My parents’ divorce – God was there.

My Mom’s sickness – God was there.

My loss of two pregnancies – God was there.

Just a few of my own examples. These situations were ugly and messy and didn’t go the way I wanted, but I was never alone for even a second. It may have felt that way sometimes. There were many times I felt desperate and heartbroken.

In Psalm 77, the writer says in verses 1-9,

     “I cried out to God for help;

        I cried out to God to hear me.

     When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;

        at night I stretched out untiring hands

        and my soul refused to be comforted.

     I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;

        I mused, and my spirit grew faint.

     You kept my eyes from closing;

        I was too troubled to speak.

     I thought about the former days,

        the years of long ago;

     I remembered my songs in the night.

        My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

     ‘Will the Lord reject forever?

        Will he never show his favor again?

     Has his unfailing love vanished forever?

        Has his promise failed for all time?

     Has God forgotten to be merciful?

       Has he in anger withheld his compassion?'”

We aren’t the first to feel abandoned. This writer wasn’t afraid to let God know how he felt and we shouldn’t be either. Our screeching and squawking to God also keeps us listening for His voice. In verses 11 and 12, the writer goes a different direction. He begins to remember all the times God has clearly been present throughout history and focuses on God’s power and faithfulness.

     “I will remember the deeds of the Lord;

        yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

     I will meditate on all your works

        and consider all your mighty deeds.”

If you are in the middle of your own squawking and screeching, hurting and brokenness, remember your Professional is close by. Remember the times He has been with you before, and the times before that He has been with others. You probably know some great examples from your own life, the lives of your family and friends. And the Bible is full of some too.

He has it under control. He wants the best for you and He will not leave you.

“…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5b




About Jen Chapman

She is a wife to Shawn for 22 years and counting, and a mom to Noah, and together they live out their story in their tiny town of Barboursville, WV. She is a freelance writer and a blogger at Flowers, bookstores, and people are what make her smile. She has seen God’s grace redeem her big-time and wants everyone to know it and experience it for themselves. She wants more than anything to give praise and honor to Jesus, and point people to Him.

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