We look forward to this quiet ritual every March, a subtle yet sure sign that winter is losing its grip and spring will soon blanket our neighborhood. Nestled on a winding country road, skirting the edges of Brush Creek, is our very own Heron Hotel. Herons are social birds, nesting in a well-established heronry, or nest cluster. Our local heron haven consists of a small cusp of trees, each tree housing five to six HUGE nests. Those nests are all perched on the highest branches, with the slow-moving creek below providing our summer campers with small fish, tadpoles, minnows, amphibians, and small insects as their food staples. These beautiful creatures will breed, summer beside the stream, then without warning, abandon their cozy homes when fall approaches in search of warmer climates down south. How do they know when to leave? When to return? How do they navigate their way back to these nests year after year? The Creator has equipped these stunning birds with instinct, inborn smarts to employ as they live their lives. If only humans were that knowledgeable.
Jeremiah rehearsed with his countrymen why the judgment of God was looming in Judah’s near future. Following God’s command to sound a warning, he cried out “in the ears of Jerusalem,” reminding them that they had offended the same God Who “brought (them) up out of the land of Egypt” and brought them to a “plentiful country.” What was Judah’s response to that demonstration of God’s redeeming grace and rich blessings? They “defiled” the land, that land of promise, and through their worship of heathen gods, made God’s “heritage an abomination.” They had become “a nation that obeyed not the voice of the LORD,” nor would they receive “correction.”
Using Jeremiah as His mouthpiece, God makes a sobering comparison: “The stork in heaven knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” God is accusing His people of being more ignorant of God’s judgment than these animals who have the ability to discern their appointed seasons. His people would not exercise the discretion and wisdom evident in the lives of simple animals.
Those herons follow their instincts throughout their life spans, leading them with unfailing regularity to return to their summer home, but do I show that same wisdom in responding to correction from God? The nation of Judah didn’t, and unfortunately, sometimes I don’t either. Let’s all be more observant to the direction of God in our lives, especially when we need a course correction. May we have the humility to be as responsive to the Holy Spirit within us as those lovely herons are when they respond to the instincts that God has inbred in them.
I Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart…that I may discern between good and bad…
God, I love watching those lovely herons follow the instincts God placed within them year after year. May I be as responsive to the Holy Spirit in my life, especially when I am drifting astray.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1315-63d9d56bda974' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1315&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1315-63d9d56bda974' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1315-63d9d56bda974' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>