Thursday, January 28, 2016

Finding God's Presence ~ Consider the Bluebird

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

I saw a bluebird today. 

Its regal blue wings swooped from the treetop to light upon the crest of the snow. Because God has taught me to search for Him in all things and to be aware of His Presence, I stood still. Watched. Pondered.

Flecks of diamond dust glistened on the earth's white blanket. The bluebird hopped about, stopping at times to survey the scene. He sang into the gentle breeze that surrounded us. 

The imagery was magnificent.

But there was more.

The snow was beginning to melt. Muddy patches of dirt drenched in frigid water peered through the beauty. Trickles of dirty water coursed along the edge of the road bumping into piles of snow along the way. In the distance a clear, periwinkle sky lay next to the mountain draped in a cloak of iridescence, its beauty camouflaging the ugliness of the melting snow. 

I thought about sin. Yes, I know the world has made a mockery of this word and people don't like to hear it spoken. But sin, in its simplest form, is anything that separates us from a holy God. He desires rich fellowship with His children, but because He is holy, He must separate Himself from anything within us that has not been sanctified - set apart and cleansed by His righteousness. Little things we hold onto create a riff between us and our God, not because He desires the separation, but because the temptation or behavior or desires cannot be part of who He is.

Little things like running to food for comfort instead of Him.

Little things like pushing Him aside because we don't want to stop what we're doing and spend time with Him.

Little things like occupying our time with television when we could spend it serving others or studying His Word.

And though He responds immediately to our call and covers us with His garment of righteousness and makes our sin white as snow, sometimes we allow complacency to settle in and the hem of the garment begins to get muddy. We seem to think that from a distance, the iridescence of His beauty camouflages the ugliness of the sin, but the reality is that the sin creates muddy water whether we see it from a distance or not. 

Whether we acknowledge it or not. 

Whether it's what we consider a blatant sin, or something small and insignificant.

My thoughts continued as I considered the bluebird

Blue is one of the colors the Lord instructed Moses to place within the Tabernacle in the wilderness to remind His people that He is the One True God. Like the bluebird swooping onto the snow's surface and hopping about to survey the landscape, our God does the same. The scriptures tell us that "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).

The Lord pursues us with His love. He yearns to make His Presence known to us, to bathe us in the iridescent beauty of His righteousness so that we might know Him in His fullness.

He also desires that we surrender the little things to Him before they muddy up the hem of our garment.

He indeed is a very good God.


A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Where is God when I have sinned just a little? @NanJonesAuthor offers a glimpse. (click to tweet)




  1. Oh Nan I was thinking about something similar to this when it snowed last week. It always bothers me when it gets marred and ugly. Thank you for such a perfect illustration of how God views our sin and our redemption of it.

    1. You are so very welcome. I don't like it once is gets dirty either. I'm thankful the Lord helped me understand my sin a little better through this illustration.

  2. Nan, this may be one of the most beautiful devotions you have written. What lovely contrasts to compare the ugliness of sin with the beauty of God!

    1. Norma, thank you for your kind words. I'm especially thankful the Lord showed the iridescence in the beauty of His holiness. I never had thought of it that way before.