The Whole Affect

You are here: Home Whole in Spirit The Wren

The Wren

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 20:01

“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34:18, NKJV).

In August 2009, our family’s life took an unexpected turn when our son Josiah went to Heaven due to a single car accident. In those initial days of great sorrow, the Lord began speaking and showing us things we never imagined. As we inquired of the Lord with many questions, He surprised us with very clear answers. What He has spoken and continues to speak has brought life to our family, Josiah’s friends, and our church community. So, while we have known great sorrow, it has become our mission to encourage Christians to walk through sorrow, leaning on the truth of God’s Word. In the decade since Josiah went to Heaven, God has continued to give me sweet morsels of hope to encourage and remind me that He is still ever-present and restoring my heart.

One afternoon as I sat on my front porch spending time with the Lord, I began to inquire concerning a women’s event at church that was coming up in the next few months. We had assigned different ladies from the congregation to speak, and I was seeking the Lord, asking if He had something for me to share. Honestly, I am usually the one looking for a way out of speaking. But I always want to be obedient, and if He speaks a word to share, then I am all in!

So as I was processing the question, I heard an all-too-familiar slam on the window just feet away. I quickly glanced to my left, and there on the porch laid a stunned Carolina Wren. Without a thought, I immediately scooped the wren into my hands. As I knelt down on the porch, I began praying for the poor bird. Almost immediately, I heard the Lord say, “I am near the brokenhearted.”

I continued to pray in the Spirit over the sweet bird and breathe warm air onto his body as he lay cupped in my hands. In my experience (this has happened to me before!), most birds, within a minute or two, have flown away, but not this guy. He was in pretty bad shape. His eyes were mostly closed, and when they finally opened, he appeared dazed and confused. There were moments when I thought he'd taken his last breath. Then, he began to straighten his legs and get some balance. I opened my hands and off he flew.

He flew not far from my sight, and my instinct was to run and find him safe. As I looked around the corner, my cat had already (in a matter of a few seconds) taken him in his mouth. I told him to release the bird, and he quickly dropped him. The wren was still breathing, and there wasn’t a spot of blood.

I swooped him up a second time, praying over him again, and he finally flew and took refuge under a bush. I, of course, put my cat as far away as possible—anything I could do to give this bird a chance of survival.

As I reflected on what had just transpired, I immediately sensed this was no coincidence—in the same moment I was asking the Lord if He had something for me to say, these events unfolded in God’s synchronicity. When something happens like this, I call it God-sync! Indeed, He spoke again: “I am near the brokenhearted”!

I knew the phrase God was referencing, so I grabbed my Bible and flipped to Psalm 34:18, which says, “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”

Here, in detail, is what He showed me: just as I swept the bird immediately into my hands, so does He scoop us up! When we are met with tragic circumstances, the Lord is there, immediately ready to pick us up and comfort us! He gives us the unexplainable ability to live and press through the sorrow. He supernaturally blankets us with a holy calm and a peaceful quiet.

In the aftermath of trauma, it is best we lie limp in His everlasting arms and just breathe, just remain, just weep. I have literally felt His presence like a breath on my cheek—His Spirit can be that near and that rich in the midst of suffering. God breathes warmth and peace into our very soul. He is willing for us to stay there as long as we need to—to rest, recover, and gain our strength while huddled in His safe place—until we are strong enough to stand again.

I’m reminded of John 14:26, 27, in which Jesus foretold about the comfort and peace the Holy Spirit would provide for Christ’s followers: “The Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (MKJV).

In my experience, there is a period of time after trauma when we feel like we’re almost walking in a fog—at times hazy on details, and yet given a grace that is hard to put into words. It is God with us. With this grace comes the ability to survive what otherwise could crush one’s soul. The world and the medical field may deem this condition “shock,” but I refuse to give the world any credit for something that can supernaturally reach beyond what man can touch—His comfort! It’s His kindness that shields us from the full sorrow until we are able to fully process and grieve.

Know this, beloved! The Enemy of your soul is like my cat, crouching at the door and ready to kill, steal, and destroy you. He is relentless, and in our most vulnerable moments, he will try to pick us off…BUT God! Our Abba Father is there to deliver us, to pull us out of the snare, bind up our wounds, and set us free.

Thus, we have experienced this very thing. The Enemy may crouch at our door in an attempt to stop us, but he doesn’t know who he is dealing with! We are God’s kids, people who know their Heavenly Father, and we will not retreat from the call of Christ.

Later that day, as is my habit since the Lord instructs us in the Word to check all things to make sure they are of a right spirit, I asked the Lord if this was a word He wanted me to share. As fruitful as it seemed to me personally, I needed confirmation from Him that this was for the ladies at the conference, too. Two days passed, and I came across the most amazing witness while thumbing through Instagram. My sister Liza, whom I’d not spoken to for a few weeks, had posted some of her beautiful art on her account.

There in front of me was a watercolor painting of a Carolina Wren with the same verse painted underneath: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted”! There it was, the witness I needed—my confirmation that this was indeed His will for me to share the story. God impressed upon me to share that I was just like that wren after Josiah went to heaven. He whispered to me, “Look at you now! I was with you then, I’m with you now, and I’ll be with these women, too.”

Two months later, I told the story to the ladies at the conference. We put a video on the screen behind me of the wren in my hands that day. I’d had my phone handy and filmed most of his recovery. Then, I finished my talk by putting Liza’s art on the screen. The women were amazed, and it bore witness to them that God speaks through whatever means He deems profitable and confirms it all through His Word, a piece of art, or a random word from a stranger.

I could hear women weeping in the congregation, and at His lead, I asked everyone to stand who identified with being brokenhearted so we could circle around them to pray. They stood, we swooped them up, and we saw His comfort come. Remember, God is omniscient and omnipresent—He knows we need reassurance that He’s near when we’re brokenhearted. So let me assure you: He is there!

Just lean into Him, trust, and watch Him show up (usually in an unexpected way!). Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Stay far, far away from manipulating or reaching to create confirmation in your flesh. Ask Him to confirm what He’s telling you in a way that lets you know you’ve not manufactured a sign on your own understanding or strength.

There was more to the story that I didn't feel compelled to share at the conference. It was a “sugar-on-top” moment that occurred a few weeks after I’d held the sweet bird in my hands. One morning as I sat reading, I heard the sound of a little pitter-patter on the entry floor of our home. As I stood up, I was tickled to find that a Carolina Wren had come inside our open door and was dancing around on the floor. Was it the same one I had rescued?! I can’t say for certain, but when I approached him, he flew up onto our foyer chandelier. My thought was, “Oh no! How am I going to get him out?!”

Then a still, small voice reminded me that Carolinas are pretty smart birds. “Just open the door, and he will find the way,” I thought. So I opened the door wide, and in just a moment, the bird flew right out into freedom.

It was as if the Lord was saying, “Smart bird! He knew the door and took it! He knew the way out and didn’t hesitate!” We can learn from that little guy. Do not play games or delay what you know will make for peace! Go to the door. Go to Jesus! He is the Door!

God gently used these two experiences with the wren to speak to my heart. If He cares this much for a wren, how much more does He care for us (Matt. 6:26; 10:29)?! When we are brokenhearted, God is near and He cares. His everlasting arms are ready to bind up our wounds and nurture us back to health (Deut. 33:27). And when we feel stuck and need a way of escape, Jesus is the Door through which we run. He’s our ticket to freedom, our source of hope and strength! He’s our Healer AND our Deliverer (John 10:7-9)!

Do you need reassurance that He is there? Imagine, God sending me a message via a wren to assure you that He is in fact THERE! In His sovereignty, He understands our hearts. The Creator of all things knows we need to read, hear, and see that He has not left us alone. And one day when our eyes are seeing clearly and we are once again steady on our feet, we will say, “God was indeed near!”

More in this category: The Healing Journey »

Sample image

Send us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Latest Instagram Posts