One of the great joys of reading through the Bible every year is that during certain seasons there are similar revelations, reminders of what God has spoken and done only 12 months earlier around this time of year. I love the rhythms of picking up my journals from last year, five years ago, and examining my growth or lack of movement in specific areas, all because of the foundation of the Word of God I’ve been consuming.
There is a correlation between seasons as well. This week I was unloading my car and I heard them — the lilting, haunting honk of the sand hill cranes as they migrate. They called to each other, circling around overhead, disappearing behind the heavy mist of clouds and to finally form a perfect ‘V’, following the leader to places familiar yet unknown. In my cyclical introspective look back I also am drawn through lists, of gifts large and small, my gratitude journals. This year I was looking through such a list of my momma’s from 2012, a tough year for both of us in many ways, and I read, “sand hill crane formation overhead” (dated February 17, 2012) and the special to me note “BA (that’s me) saw it too”. The cranes are led forth by an unseen urge that is built into their fiber and being. We, as created ones made in the image of almighty God, also have a built-in navigation system. But for humans it’s not an autopilot reaction like birds. We have to choose to listen, to follow, to allow the One who knows us best to guide us
I listen to their conversations and don’t hear a word of truth. Is anyone sorry for doing wrong? Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle! 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. “‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the Lord,” when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? Jeremiah 8:6-8 NLT
A searching of the heart, a repentive spirit, a mind and will that are yielded to God is my desire. February is my birth month, and the annual turning a year older, prayerful examination of my heart and ways brings me face-to-face with the question: Am I doing more than growing older?
Lord, help me to know how fleeting my time on earth is. Help me to know how limited is my life and that I’m only here but for a moment more. What a brief time you’ve given me to live! Compared to you my lifetime is nothing at all! Nothing more than a puff of air, I’m gone so swiftly. So too are the grandest of men; they are nothing but a fleeting shadow! Psalm 39:5-6 TPT
As we take the time to do the investigative work necessary within our heart we realize how much in need we are of the leadership of the Holy Spirit. He is a ready and willing Comforter and Guide along the journey of life! Truly careful examination will bring about the change of heart and a growth that calls out to others.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end… And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again. Ecclesiastes 3:11, 14-15
There is a hope and sense of purpose that calls to others from a willfully yielded heart. It leads to a deep sense of calm in knowing that our lives can be trusted when placed in the careful hands of our God.