You gotta love hummingbirds.

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You gotta love hummingbirds.  Incredibly cute and fast, hovering so precisely by my feeder.  But not until a couple of days ago.  Used to have many hummers circling our feeders until last winter’s freezing fog.  The tree limbs were sheathed in white ice ready for the witch of north from the Chronicles of Narnia to come into our back yard.  Then, no hummers.  That’s where my story begins.

Trying to attract the hummers back, I was persistent. My wife joked that I was being obsessive compulsive. Not me. But, I bought new mixes. Cleaned the feeders with hot soapy water, rinsed them in a vinegar solution. No critters. I bought a different kind of mix. Emptied the old stuff, bugs and all, and cleansed my feeders like they were surgical instruments. Changed the locations of the feeders. No hummers. On another try a few hummers came around, then stopped. I was frustrated, but persistent. Never mind that I am busy pastoring a church, being a husband, and loving on all four grandkids, two born during this time, having two surgeries, my mind drifted back to my hummerless back yard. And I tried again and again. I checked my neighbors; they had hummers. Am I compulsive about this, or what? I think persistent. My frustration even bubbled up during my Labor Day weekend  message. I used a brief illustration about feeding hummers and my failure to attract them back after this winter’s storm. Funny what people hear during my messages: A listener suggested a different mix to attract the elusive, exotic Rufus. I tried the new formula. Guess what? I am happy now. Satisfied. Fulfilled. Hummers fight over my feeders again!


Let me now extol the virtue of persistence…not with hummingbirds, but with our Father God. He wants us to be persistent in prayer as Jesus illustrated in the parables of the midnight friend and persistent widow (Luke 11:5-13; 18:1-8). Keep on asking, seeking and knocking. Why? To mess with us? Of course not. To help us learn new truths about Him and us that will satisfy us. I think so. Our God is large and in charge. He knows best what we need and when we need it. Do we need healing? Yes. But sometimes, perhaps often, after persistent prayer there is no miracle. Did we not have enough faith? Be careful not to go on that guilt trip. It is more Biblical to believe God has something better for us to learn in our persistence. That’s what Paul confessed after his persistent prayer for healing was answered “No.” He learned of a far better, more satisfying remedy. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8, 9)
Even though I love hummingbirds, I’d rather experience God’s grace and have Christ’s power rest on me, than a backyard full of hummers. Wouldn’t you?

For His glory,
Pastor Mike