American Coot’s Foot

Coot Foot

This picture is the foot of a bird which is commonly found in ponds and marshes mingled with ducks. But it is not a duck and you can tell by looking at this foot. If it was a duck it would be a webbed foot. But it is not a duck; it is an American coot. Instead of a webbed foot it has lobed toes.

These lobes open when the bird pushes it backwards, causing the bird to be pushed forward. These lobes close when the bird pulls its foot forward, allowing it to reposition its foot for the next stroke when swimming.

These lobed toes have a similar affect when the bird walks on land. If it is in a muddy area the lobes will open up and increase the surface area preventing the foot from sinking into the mud. But when they are on hard ground and don’t need this feature, the lobes are out of the way and don’t hinder their movement. This allows them to be more agile on land than the ungainly ducks.

Opening up those remarkable toes gives the American coot quite a few advantages. For believers a similar affect can be found by opening our heart. Be careful how you hear this, though. We think of the heart in colloquial terms today which mislead us when trying to understand the Bible. In Scripture the word heart has little to do with emotions. Instead it is a storehouse of life issues. Everything from character to experiences are stored in the heart.

When I talk about opening your heart I am specifically thinking of opening it up for God to come in and order it. Then when it has been ordered by God, like any good storeroom, you will be able to open it again and draw out exactly what you need. In this storeroom God builds the different ingredients of giftedness, character, courage, and morality which make you the unique person of His design.  When you draw from this storeroom it allows you to live out His design.

Consider this verse from Ephesians 1:18-19a (NASB), “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”


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