Photography by Curtis and Norma Beaird
Article by Norma Beaird
Anyone who reads this blog knows that we love photography. We especially love bird and nature photography. To look at our pictures is to look at what appears to be a lifestyle of immeasurable peace and tranquility. However, looks can be deceiving.....as they say. To see the beautiful birds, the salmon-pink sunsets, the summer green pastures and the brilliant white moons seems to impart a location of sheer perfection, a place that dreams are made of.
As they say.......looks can be deceiving.
It is possible for a geographical location to create a seemingly endless struggle. Nature may welcome us with open arms, but a community may isolate their neighbors from the progression of new ideas. Even though nature makes us feel at home, sometimes a community will make us feel like fish out of water. Trying to be community-minded is generous in spirit, but receiving community cooperation may be as difficult as roping the wind. A spiritually oppressed people are unable to see the glass half-full. It is possible to have a half-full mentality but geographically live in a half-empty cultural condition. This can be undermining to the concept of success. Geographical spiritual oppression is just that - oppressive.
The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18 that "where there is no vision, the people perish...."
Living in a spiritual wilderness can be emotionally and spiritually debilitating. At times, it's like dragging around the proverbial ball and chain. Sometimes, you feel hungry in your spirit and crave that one morsel of encouragement that only God can give. It's during these times that God can send us manna in the wilderness, just like He sent a raven to feed Elijah by the brook Cherith.
I Kings 17: 4-6
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
....and so the Lord did for us what He did for Elijah.
He may not have sent a raven to bring us food, but He sent us birds. Many birds.
He sent us Peanut, the Red-bellied Woodpecker.
He sent us Pierre, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
He sent us the Duke of Soperton, the Northern Cardinal.
He sent us Cisco and Coco, the Northern Bobwhite Quail.
In other words, God sent us spiritual manna. Elijah may have been fed physically, but we are fed spiritually by the wonders of God's glorious creation. There are days when our birds help us to keep our focus on the bigger goals and accomplishments. They inspire imagination and creativity. They teach us about faith. The world around us seems crazy and the struggle is exhausting, but in a wilderness of spiritual oppression, we find solace in Genesis 1.
We find peace in "....and God saw that it was good."
Discouragement with our geographical location forces us to look outside and see God's handiwork all around us. We are able to look past the disappointments and frustrations. The result? Hundreds of photographs of birds, birds and more birds. Full Moons. Sunsets. Landscapes. And.... the occasional squirrel in the bird feeder.
Living in the wilderness is not easy. It will never be easy. But.... God will send a bird.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Copyright 2017, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.