Monday, April 22, 2024

Devotionals for the Heart: Watching herons teaches me life lessons

What Watching Herons Taught Me
A devotional by Peg Arnold

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”—Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

As I watched the shadow of a heron glide through the sky, I couldn't help but exclaim, "They're back!" The much-anticipated spring season was near, with the extended daylight hours and the grass turning into a vibrant green. In addition, flocks of birds were returning. The sky was flooded by robins, hummingbirds, meadowlarks, pelicans, and herons! Each one brings beauty, both in its appearance and melodious song.

Among these birds, the herons hold a special place in my heart. These graceful creatures bring a peaceful presence wherever they land. They stand still like statues after gracefully wading into the water. There is a blend of elegance and power as they spread their wings and skim across the water. Their flight is so close to the surface that their wingtips barely touch it, leaving behind a gentle trail of ripples.

The herons teach us the significance and value of quiet patience and unwavering devotion. Regardless of the weather, they exhibit persistence while diligently seeking food. It brings to mind Psalm 27:14 (TLB), which says, “Don't be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait, and he will help you.” Do we demonstrate the same steadfastness when waiting on the Lord? Their patience and devotion model virtues for us to emulate.

Herons are unique in their nesting habits. They live in communities, building their homes with others in the same tree. Before the leaves emerge on the bare cottonwood trees, their large nests can be easily spotted with the silhouette of an adult heron standing watch over the eggs. Some trees may have as many as 50 pairs of herons in one tree, a fascinating and rare sight. It is also a unique demonstration of the power of unity.

By nesting together, herons can protect each other's young. Similarly, in our faith communities, we find strength and support, as Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV). He wrote, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Paul's message encourages us to draw strength from our shared faith, find comfort within our faith-based community, and support one another. Just like the herons, we can also find power in unity.

It never ceases to amaze me how God continually teaches us through His creation, and today, it was the Great Blue Heron. Like these majestic birds who wait patiently to find food and nest together to protect their young, we can learn to trust in God's timing and support each other on a daily basis.

As we close, ponder this question: What is one way we can demonstrate patience, unity, and love in our immediate circle of family and friends?

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the lessons You reveal through Your creations, like the Great Blue Heron. Please help me develop the patience, unity, and humility I witness in these majestic birds. Help me trust Your timing and guide me in supporting others in the faith community. In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “The Maker” by Chris August. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Peg Arnold, Speaker/Author/Teacher is a Drama Queen for Jesus. 

Her vibrant, interactive, and soul-stirring messages encourage all to embrace their God-given value. As a mom, wife, nana, mentor, with a master’s in counseling, she connects on a personal basis by sharing her joys and challenges of many life experiences through her dramas, messages, and witness. Whether talking with a friend over coffee or addressing hundreds of people at a conference, her passion for equipping women is contagious.

She has published devotions on YouVersion and in the Upper Room. In addition, she has contributed to two Chicken Soup for the Soul books, three anthologies, numerous articles, and blogs. Her devotional, Devotions for the Distracted Heart, received a 2022 OASIS award.

Peg desires everyone to know that their story is important and has a purpose. She grew up in Michigan and raised her family in Maryland. Later in life, Peg and her husband relocated close to their family in Colorado.

Connect with Peg:

Website: Get some freebies when you visit!
Devotions for the Distracted Heart blog:
Holiday YouVersion:

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