Are all squirrels endowed with a humongous dose of determination? At least one of their number is. At Beech Croft there are two beech trees, one huge oak, plus a walnut almost on the property line. Some of his family gnaw on spruce cones like a cob of corn and the supply is abundant. This furry little fellow has a smorgasbord of goodies available to him, but what does he want? Black oil sunflower seeds. The baffle designed to make it impossible for him to indulge will not stop him. He epitomizes “Perseverance” with a capital “P”.
Number one, he knows what he wants. Some of us could use a little help in this area. We may still be on the way to realizing the main thing we need to focus on as our primary goal, but, short term, we all have desires that need to be fulfilled. In Mark 11:23 we are told to speak to whatever stands in our way, command it to go, believe for and claim what we are striving for, and we will have it. A simple, yet powerful formula.
Perhaps the strongest thing God has given man is a firm and decided will. When we choose to believe God for something, our will generates the faith to achieve what we’re after. Patience will need to link up with faith. Hindrances that crop up on the way can be transformed from stumbling blocks to stepping stones depending on how we confront them, and on whether we refuse to give up.
A bunch of years ago I would have let a string of little setbacks rob my joy. The other morning I stepped into the back yard to find the water level in the pond had dropped about three quarters. I threw a basket full of wooly slippers into the wash. The fuzz filled the lint trap and the rinse water ran all over the floor rather than down the drain. When I began to pry the lid off a can of copper cleaner, the lid blew off – the kind of explosion expected up in the mountains in Colorado where the air is thin, but not in southern Ontario.
Three minor nuisances, each easily resolved, but the sort that can mess up our doings. Sometimes we let them discourage us as much as the major obstacles capable of stopping progress. Besides, we live within time; and a lot of time may pass before our goal comes into view.
The baffle on the bird feeder should have blocked that wee critter’s quest. I watched him grasp the baffle and slide back down. I saw him try to find a way up through it. Maybe he made one mighty leap from the frame of the garden swing. How he managed I don’t know, but he had a feast.
In Romans 15:4 Paul tells us to endure and be patient, to be encouraged by God’s Word and never lose hope – thoughts expressed beautifully in the Amplified Version. If that bushy-tailed rodent can persevere until he succeeds, with the help of the Holy Spirit and faith in the written Word, surely we can too.