From: Earth Psalms
If we are unfaithful,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny who he is.
(2 Timothy 2:13)
My first of many sightings of storks took place in Segovia, Spain. While others gawked at the Roman aqueduct, I gawked at a muster of white storks (with black wings and red bills and legs) tending their hatchlings in huge nests on the tops of towers and tiled roofs. Four nests on one tower alone, and as many loving couples with young. I longed for binoculars.
Storks are reputed to be monogamous (for a season). Mating pairs return to these high nests year after year, adding to them until they weigh over a thousand pounds. How would you like that nest on your roof?
Storks have a varied diet of frogs, fish, insects, earthworms, and small birds and mammals. They are listed among the “unclean” birds in scripture, probably because “small birds and mammals” would include disease-carrying rats and mice. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal rodent exterminator keeping watch from your roof? If storks lived in California, I’d want to mount a metal platform above the roof and put up a sign: Stork Building Site.
Not vastly intelligent, they are still wiser than most of us. The Lord spoke of the stork through the prophet Jeremiah: “Even the stork that flies across the sky knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. They all return at the proper time each year. But not my people! They do not know the Lord’s laws,” (v. 8:7).
Animals instinctively know what they were created to do, often following patterns of life and migration that go back scores of generations. Yet we humans continually forget that we are created for God’s glory. He made us to have a relationship with him, yet we turn away from him again and again. But just as he was faithful to the Israelites, loving them and calling them his people even after they turned to idols, he is faithful to us. As 2 Timothy tells us, God “cannot deny who he is” – the faithful One. He will not go against his nature. Sometimes he shows his love through discipline to help us see clearly the desperate situation we’re in, but he always calls us back.
When we repent and live in his will, we become what God created us to be. Like the storks, we’ll be fulfilling our created purpose.
God is faithful even when his children are not.
What does our culture tell us is our ultimate purpose in life? In what ways do we struggle to remember our true purpose? How can we be faithful to the goal of glorifying our faithful God?
Take time this week to reflect on God’s faithfulness. Read stories from scripture that show people’s rebellion, God’s discipline, and then his calling them again to himself. (For example, the story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11–12:25; the story of Jonah in the book of Jonah; the story of Peter’s denial and reinstatement in Luke 22:31-34, 54-62 and John 21:15-19). Journal about what God’s faithfulness means in your life and how you might be more faithful in maintaining a relationship with him.
CONNECT WITH GOD
Heavenly Father, you are the faithful One. You keep on loving us even when we turn away from you over and over. It would be easy for you to walk away or even start over with a whole new creation, but your love is steadfast. I’m so grateful that I can count on you, no matter what. Please help me to respond with faithfulness too. I don’t want to waste my life; I want to live with the right purpose in mind so that I can be the person you created me to be.