I am so comfortable I don’t want to move as I may never find this sweet spot again. The window is open and I hear birdsong mixed with chimes and the sound of wind in the pine tree boughs right outside my room.
The bird feeders are also outside my writing room window. I can watch the cardinals and finches in the branches while doves tidy up the dropped seeds in the grass beneath.
He feeds the birds. This time He used me to give them a snack. But no matter the way He is always keeps his word. God is loyal to the birds.
Loyalty is different than making a promise. Being loyal describes the state of the heart that made the promise. I can make a promise because I feel obligated. I can make a promise because I want something in return. I can even make a promise because I am afraid. But God makes His promises because He is loyal.
I believe God answers prayers.
Sometimes my prayers haven’t been answered.
So, I have tried to find out why.
I have been told, and I do believe, that the problem isn’t with God.
The trouble must be on my end.
So, I have poured through the Bible to see what I missed.
In financial matters, I learned that sowing and reaping, tithes and offerings are important. My financial prayers began to be answered, not immediately, and not specifically, but I look back over the years and see that I had enough every time.
In physical matters, I learned that taking scriptures like medicine is important. My health prayers began to be answered, but again, sometimes not immediately and not specifically, but I look back over the years and see that I am still alive and feeling well today.
In emotional matters, I learned that guarding my heart is important. Boundaries in my relationships have helped, but again, I still find myself lonely and hurt, but I look back over the years to see that I am enjoying my friendships and writing less melancholy poetry.
And yet, I realized in the moment of birdsong and wind in the pines that “faith” isn’t only one sided. I believe in Him and His word and His goodness. How much can He believe in mine? He is loyal. Am I? Do I keep my word when I say I am going to ______________________ with or for Him? What happened to 3 a.m. prayer, or fasting, or never being angry about “X” again? What about that Bible reading plan or new devotional? Could this be the reason why I don’t see the answers to my prayers more quickly and more often? How loyal am I in this faith relationship?
What about every single time I’ve prayed and asked Him to help me do something and in about a week, I’m not trying anymore? No more sugar, no more shopping, no more Netflix, no more grouchy, no more nosey, and no more worry?
I am no more loyal to God than I am the birds.
I don’t tend the feeders every day.
I get mad at the squirrels.
I’m going to get to it.
He is loyal to the birds.
He tends them every day.
He also feeds the squirrels.
He does it.
The great me with my plans and prayers.
The great “I will”.
Loved by the Great I AM.
He is loyal to me.
His heart is always toward me.
I have no answers for my disloyalties.
Distractions? Tired flesh?
And then, O! and then He reminds me of this: He sees 1,000 years as 24 hours. According to His timekeeping I am less than an hour and a half old. And babies get distracted. And they need their parents 24/7.
He finds no fault in me.
Love believes the best of every person.
Love’s hopes are fadeless.
He says, Why do you hurt your own heart by believing I want your record to be perfect? I don’t want that. I don’t care about your record of wins and losses. I care about your heart. Do you love me, Peter? Yes. Then be loyal. Do you love me, Peter? Yes. Then be consistent. Do you love me Peter? Only you know Lord. Then help me take care of these, my little ones. Of which you are one. Help me take care of you. Help me, my dear love, by loving what I love. You.
Will you be loyal to me? Make a promise and never let it go? Only you know Lord.