Archive for the ‘Children’s Stories’ Category

I Have Just Rescued Two Ladybirds!

August 7, 2018

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As I cleaned the windows, I noted that our recent very dry sunny weather has brought with it an abundance of ladybirds – or “ladybugs” as they are referred to in North America and some other countries. However, we also have a great variety of spiders of all shapes and sizes and as a result… cobwebs just about everywhere! Since I was a child I have always loathed seeing a struggling little creature trapped in a cobweb but yesterday I saw a ladybird which was no longer struggling. In fact it was so still that I was convinced that it must be dead. It lay there, wrapped around by the web waiting to be devoured by the nearby giant spider. ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘it may be trapped and dead – but that spider is not going to make a meal of such a beautiful creature with its shiny red coat and black dots!’ Dead or not I was determined to set it free and gently releasing the bits of web, I pushed it onto my finger.

It was at that point that I noticed the tiny movement and was delighted to note that it was certainly not dead! Perhaps it had originally resigned itself to its fate and that was why it lay so still and sad in the web but now it crawled slowly up my finger and was so delighted to be there that it didn’t want to leave me! I took it far from places where webs are built, into the garden where the grass, the shrubs and the flowers would be its new surroundings – truly a wondrous paradise, after the situation it had found itself in.

After this I found yet another ladybird in another cobweb in another window, which was in exactly the same predicament. Again, I was sure that this smaller, younger looking species must be dead and again when I rescued it, was delighted to see the movement and satisfied to see it transferred into surroundings where it could recover and have a new life.

Ladybirds have been known to fly great distances and at great altitudes but these two had obviously flown off into dangerous territory when they had found themselves trapped in that awful situation.

In the spiritual realm, as we go through life we often witness people who are seemingly so dead in “trespasses and sin,” that it would appear that they are beyond rescuing. But as Christians, we must never, ever think this way, for after all, it is the Lord who does the rescuing – not us. But he wants to use His people in the rescue operation. The term “beyond redemption” should never cross the Christian’s mind as he looks at a soul caught up in even the greatest web of evil.

With God all things are possible (Matthew 19v26) and no soul is beyond rescuing from the web of the deepest sins known to mankind. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24v12)) Some may look at the unbelievable state of mankind today, shake their heads in a self-righteous manner and decide that some people are just so spiritually dead that there’s nothing more can be done for them; some would say it is their own fault for literally flying into a danger zone.

Loving a little creature enough to take the time to gently break that horrible web is not a pleasant operation – and it is time consuming. Webs are unpleasant things to the touch but the joy at seeing just one ladybird alive and well after having been entangled is so rewarding!

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations and in places where we see souls struggling and indeed some no longer struggling, as they have resigned themselves to addictions, to all sorts of evil and sin in their lives. The devil is not too far away – waiting to devour their very souls.

But the Lord needs His people as they walk past the souls caught in webs… that drunken man lying in the street, that homeless teenager who shares needles and sleeps with other drug addicts in shop doorways… Look upon them with love; the deep love that only He can confer upon us. Love can break through, untangle and give hope for a bright and happy future, living as the Lord meant His creation to live. Love with the love that only the Lord can bestow upon us for souls for whom He loved and died – even before they ever existed; surely He will guide us how to pray and what to do. We must never assume that they are “dead” and beyond rescue because they lie so still in the web of sin…

As I meditate on these things, Flora Kirkland’s lovely old hymn comes to mind…

Out in the darkness,

Shadow’d by sin

Souls are in bondage,

Souls we would win.

How can we win them?

How show the way?

Love never faileth,

Love is the way.

 

Think how the Master

Came from above,

Suffer’d on Calv’ry,

Breathing out love;

Think how He loves us,

E’en when we stray?

We must love others,

Love is His way.

 

See, they are waiting,

Looking at you,

Furtively watching

All that you do:

Seeming so careless,

Harden’d and lost,

Love never faileth,

Count not the cost.

 

Love never faileth,

Love is pure gold;

Love is what Jesus

Came to unfold,

Make us more loving,

Master, we pray

Help us remember

Love is Thy way.

 

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Sheltering in the Shadow of His Wings

July 7, 2017

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Birds and animals have featured much in our lives this summer and as a result of this – many little stories with spiritual parallels. There was the robin and the butterfly, baby owls squealing in the night, the pigeon and the cat, the buzzards, the swallows in the porch, the hares on the road, the flitting bats and the house martin and the cat…

A baby house martin, being adventurous, had decided to leave the nest prematurely but had sadly ended up in the mouth of our cat. However, my daughter managed to rescue the little bird and miraculously it survived unharmed! Above is a small photograph of it feeding on greenflies from a leaf picked for it. My husband, on his return from work, climbed a tall ladder, managing to restore it to its nest while the parents were not around. How glad it must have felt to be with other little siblings once more – and subsequently in the shadow of the wings of those who loved and cared for it!

If the Lord can answer prayer for the safety of a little bird – how much more will He do so for those who love Him and call upon His name for safety and deliverance? I am about to take a long journey – a five-hour flight that I am apprehensive about for many reasons but He has given me the words of that beautiful Psalm 91. Recent news reports, both locally, and all across the world make for depressing reading but spiritually speaking I dwell “in the secret place of the most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Verse 1)

Like the little house martin now in his feathery nest, I am safe from the evil one, for I have surrendered myself to a more powerful force who was able to rescue and deliver me when I was powerless to help myself. We live in evil days, when unmentionable, horrific things are happening in our world and sometimes, unfortunately, the Christian succumbs to depression in the face of it all… but “His grace is greater!” Remember, as you venture forth today, whatever perceived ordeal you are facing, the only real safety in this world of ours is “in the shadow of His wings.” If we go our own way, in our own strength; prematurely venturing without His presence in our lives, we face the greatest danger from an evil enemy.

But… “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10v13)

And for those who know and love Him, all the great promises of Psalm 91 are theirs: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91v4)

“For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalm 91v11)

And as we venture on in the Christian life, we have this promise… “He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job23v10)

May the Lord bless and encourage all who read in the days ahead, whatever pain, despondency or challenges you have to face. The answer to it all is to take refuge in the shadow of His wings. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8v38&39)

The Frightened Little Frog

September 15, 2015

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Having noticed that my blog about a hedgehog had been searched for Sunday schools, I have also been thinking of my many other interesting encounters with animals and insects in the last few years. Since these little stories revealed a spiritual analogy, I thought that it would be a good idea to have a children’s section for these and other stories. The following is the true story of how we rescued a little frog just recently…

The squealing behind our home was strange and high-pitched but where on earth was it coming from? My daughter ran outside to find nothing at all. Then, once more the squealing started up again – and again she went outdoors, this time to discover that our cat was annoying some poor little creature in an area where a lot of rain had gathered. What a “summer” it had been, with rainwater collecting in pools just about everywhere! After grabbing our tabby cat, my daughter put her in the kitchen and we both went out to see what had been so terrified of our cat. Soon we were looking at a lovely little frog which was lodged in a tight place, close to a pipe where a patio area is under construction.

My daughter touched him and he moved slightly, but then, after a while there was no movement at all. “He’s dead. The cat has killed him,” said my daughter in despair, “but maybe he’s just playing dead,” she added optimistically. “I think you’re right,” I whispered, “he’s sitting so still and probably hopes we’ll just go away… but what if the cat gets him when she comes out again?”

“Well, I don’t know how we’ll get him out of there,” said my daughter. “Oh, he’s so slimy; I can’t bear to touch him!” She went back indoors, making sure the cat didn’t get out again, while I picked up a large bucket. Looking at the poor little creature, he hardly moved at all but I just had this feeling that he was definitely ‘playing dead.’ I really needed to get him out of the dangerous situation he was in and so I gently picked him up (with damp cold hands so that I wouldn’t hurt him) and put him in a large bucket with a tiny bit of cold water in it from our outside tap. He didn’t flinch at all, still giving the impression that he was dead.

I have a great love for every little creature I come across and so, as carefully as I could, I carried him away to safety – to a place where I knew in my heart that he would be happy. However, to get to that place I had to walk a long way, climbing through briars, nettles and thistles of all types. After a while when I looked into the bucket, the little frog appeared to want to hop out, but how glad I was when he stayed in that safe container until we reached our destination – a lovely place where there were shady trees, lush green grass and little damp pools. And how happy he was to arrive in this beautiful place – away from the danger of an enemy who had tried to hurt and kill him. Once out, he hopped away into the undergrowth and I felt so joyful to know that he didn’t look any the worse for his encounter with our cat! How glad I was that he had allowed me to pick him up and bring him to that safe place!

On the way back to the house I noticed that I had many cuts, scratches and stings and I was even bleeding in places, all because I wanted so much to make sure that a little creature would arrive safely in a very lovely place where he would be so happy and at home.

Once back at my home, as I bathed my wounds (which were nothing really) I couldn’t help but think of what the dear Lord Jesus went through for me – and for you. His wounds were much more than we have ever suffered and not only that, He went so far as to die – so that we could be safely brought Home to a beautiful place like nothing we have ever seen on this earth. The Bible says “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53v5) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Verse 6)

Also – while I rescued a little creature that was innocent and had never done anybody any harm, the Bible says that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5v8)

Jesus wants to carry us safely through all the dangerous times, the thorny paths and the stinging hurtful times of this life, until we eventually reach a happy land where tears are no more.

Just as I would never have abandoned the little frog in a dry place or in a dangerous place, the Lord will not abandon those who love Him either – and how glad I was that the little frog didn’t get fed up being carried to his happy destination, deciding to jump out and make his own way through the undergrowth! Such a move would have been terrible and could have meant that he would never have reached that beautiful place.

What a faithful Friend the Lord Jesus is that He loved us enough to suffer and die for our sins, so that we could live in Heaven with Him for evermore! The Bible says: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. (1Corinthians 2v9)

My prayer is that you will trust this faithful loving Friend as your Saviour today, so that you can safely walk with Him to journey’s end – to a beautiful Forever where you will be at Home and happy with Him and all the other dear souls who have allowed Him to rescue them from the jaws of the enemy.