after_the_storm2I had awakened that morning to the cacophony of birds. As I peered at my backyard through my bathroom window, I was taken aback by what I saw: my entire backyard—almost an acre—was covered with crows.

We had just had several days of bitter cold followed by an entire day of rain. Mostly light, but steady rain fell throughout the day, but by night, as we say here in Georgia “The bottom fell out!” We were all miserable, because the temperature was just beginning to eek it’s way back up and we wanted to get out of the house and do something.

As I began to more closely inspect this unbelievably large group of birds, I noticed something odd: they were furiously picking at the ground. In fact, there was so many of them packed into the space of my back yard, many of them had begun to fight each other for rights to the space.

What are they picking at? I thought to myself, and upon closer inspection I realized that they were all picking at—food. As unbelievable as it was, the hard storm that I and my family had seen as such a bad thing, had loosened the previously frozen and impenetrable soil, thereby allowing the hungry birds access to seeds, worms and other “goodies” safely hidden in the ground.

Incredible Harvest of Blessings

It was at that moment that God brought the idea to my mind that many times what we see as difficulty, pain, or trials in our lives can be a vehicle for God to bring about an incredible harvest of blessings for ourselves or for others.

He also brought to my mind a verse that honestly, I have a conflicted relationship with: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

As I stood there dumbfounded at the lesson God had taught me, I angrily wondered how can this be? How can I give thanks in all the circumstances—including difficulties–in my life? How can this be God’s will? I stopped mid-thought, went to my bedroom, and grabbing my Bible, flipped it open to that verse and—in the hopes of gaining some answers, read the verses before and after it. No sooner had I begun to read than I got—as the late Paul Harvey used to quip–“the rest of the story;” there it was in black and white: “The one [God] who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

It is because of who God is and what Jesus has done that I can be thankful through—and sometimes even for—the difficulties in my life.

It’s not a popular message these days, but through those hungry birds in my backyard, God reminded me that good or bad: He loves me, He’s in charge and He is faithful.