White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch (1280x853)

This bird is a white-breasted nuthatch. Nuthatches have remarkable strength and agility. Like woodpeckers and creepers, nuthatches find the majority of their food while foraging around on the bark of trees. But these birds are able to do something these other birds cannot.

In the picture above the nuthatch is facing down the trunk instead of facing up.  Other birds that cling to the side of threes prop themselves up with their tails. The three point stance is very stable, but requires facing upward.

Nuthatches have an ability to hang on with just their two feet, and by sheer strength to hold their body weight straight out from the tree. If you think about it, it is almost like being a gymnast that is constantly doing an iron cross. The value of this two point stance is they can face any direction on the tree. They can face up or down, they can even hang on to the bottom of a branch.

This strength gives the bird a lot of versatility as it forages for food. It will be able to reach and snag meals in places other birds will never see.

Strength and flexibility are wonderful traits. There are going to be times in life when you will need to be able to look at your problems from a different angle. You will get by better when you can adapt to a new situation, or to an old situation in a new way.

These characteristics are also important for your spiritual life. People are often surprised how hard it is to grow spiritually. Along the way they face difficult and emotional situations requiring them to face and fix their character flaws. This growth often comes from friction with others in the church. Often we feel betrayed because we already developed deep friendships with these individuals.

Spiritual Growth is not for cowards.

Colossians 1:28-29 (HCSB) We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.

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Pigmy Nuthatch

Pigmy Nuthatch

This is a picture of a pigmy nuthatch. This very small bird is extremely social, and it nests in cavities in trees.

One record of the bird tells of it having excavated a nest in a quaking aspen. The bird chose a spot in the middle of one of the dark scars on the white trunk. This placement allowed the mother bird to hide the cavity by perching in the opening with her dark back facing outward. This allowed her nest to escape detection by a marauding red squirrel.

The nestlings were safe because they had a gatekeeper that kept them safe.

For believers, Jesus is our gatekeeper. He stands between us and the evil that would seek to harm us. Nothing is able to get around Him. As long as we continue to cooperate and stay behind Him we are safe.

But for most of us this does not mean we will remain safe. The danger is not an enemy able to get around our protector, it is dangers we allow in some other way. Perhaps through a partnership with the world, maybe it is a compromise with sin, or it could simply be a decision to violate their Christian values.

How much simpler life could be if we didn’t work against our protector.

“So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:7-10 (HCSB)