This is a guest post by Joanie Shook.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

bird feeder
Several months ago, I set up a bird feeder in our backyard. The tree was in the perfect location, right outside the glass doors to our backyard, and my daughters and I spent many wonderful mornings watching the varied and colorful birds eat their breakfast while we ate ours. Of course, since we live in a very rural area, the birds can tend for themselves, but how exciting it was to entice them closer: an easy meal for them, and a nature documentary in real life for us. Unfortunately, I soon learned that not only was I enticing the birds to an easy meal… I was enticing our barn cats to one, too. I was not ready for my preschoolers to learn this part of nature so “up close and personal”. I took the bird feeder down.
The next couple of mornings, over breakfast, the girls remarked how angry and disappointed the birds seemed, clamoring around the branch that until recently held the bird feeder. In an almost off-handed way, I commented that the birds may be angry and disappointed, but they don’t realize that I saved them from a terrible fate. Then it dawned on me… This may be what happens to us when we feel as though God isn’t answering our prayers. Only God knows His plans for us. Things that may seem like a huge disappointment on the surface are, in reality, a gift from God. It is up to us to trust in Him, because we mere mortals simply cannot understand all the wonderful things waiting for us.  We shared our stories, mine of a life lived fifty plus years, and theirs, all of five years so far, stories of times we felt let down, disappointed, only to experience real joy in the end. The opportunity to see God in a bird feeder what a gift that is in its own right.
Joanie Shook is a 51 year old Bronx Irish Catholic who now calls rural Scio, Oregon home. She is a stay-at-home mom to three daughters (13 year old and five year old twins), and feels very blessed to be the wife of her husband Greg.

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