Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

This is a pied-billed grebe. It is tiny swimming bird, the smallest of the grebes. It happens to be very common, but is seldom seen. The main reason for this is it generally sees you first. Even if you are watching it from a distance it will dive under the water, and seemingly, it will never come up again.  In reality it will travel further under water than a spectator would expect to be possible, and pop up somewhere out of sight.

Other birds will perform this kind of a disappearing act but pied-billed grebes are better at it than any other bird. But disappearing is not their only trick. These birds have rivalries with several other birds. For example, they are known to have a distinct dislike of several types of ducks. All of which are bigger than them. So instead of a toe to toe fight, they do a behavior called submarining.

Submarining is attacking their enemies from below. The bird being attacked has no way of knowing trouble is coming, since the grebe was a long ways away when it dove. Then when the attack happens it cannot see what is attacking it in order to defend itself. The duck on the surface loses the battle before it starts.

Many Christians feel this way when fighting spiritual battles. Every time they try to reach for a victory they find they have already lost. They try to figure out what happened but the nature of the battle is hidden from them. They might sense they are responsible for their own failures, but they don’t understand what it is they are doing wrong.

Very often the problem gets back to what is stored in their heart. No one feels good about themselves when they know they are doing wrong. Sin lurking in the storeroom of the heart acts as a trap waiting to attack the believer when they least expect it. But since the sin has been in their lives for a period of time without any noticed consequence, they fail to connect their compromised lifestyle with their spiritual failures.

In hindsight they might see it, and when they finally do, they feel foolish for not having seen the connection earlier. Sin stored in the heart will lurk there, under the surface, attacking courage and self-esteem. Then in the moment when that believer has a chance to do something great, they can’t. The attack from under the surface of their own heart defeats them before the battle ever really begins.

Proverbs 5:22 (HCSB)
A wicked man’s iniquities entrap him;
he is entangled in the ropes of his own sin.
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