“Look! A kingfisher!”
We were just walking under a railway bridge that carries the line along the South Tyne valley. Suddenly, bright against the brown, murky water of the river, I glimpsed, through the arch of the bridge, the turquoise flash of the bird, darting over the dark background. We’re always on the watch for kingfishers just here. We don’t often see them but, when we do, it makes the day.
Hardly glimpsed but gone;
Quick azure streak over silt-laden river’s flow,
Heart-lifting miracle of light.
You don’t have to look far to know that we’re living in days of unprecedented turmoil. And many of us are living through challenging and difficult times in our personal lives. How we need to hear God’s word to us – His word that brings comfort, hope, light, encouragement, direction, and so much else besides. Habakkuk lived through such times and decided to ‘look to see what God will say’.
The thing about revelation is that God speaks when He chooses to, not necessarily when we’re expecting it. That’s why, like Habakkuk, we need to be alert for His voice, lest we miss it. I’m not sure that I would have seen the kingfisher through the bridge’s arch, if I hadn’t got into the habit of looking out for one just there. Although, maybe – just maybe – the azure flash would have caught my eye.
On that day, the river was murky and turbulent from recent rain. How God longs that we should hear what He has to speak into our spirits, that He might lift our hearts above the worries and anxieties of the day.
Let the brightness of Your word to me
Dart across the tumult of my day;
Illuminate my spirit
With Your miracle of light.
I sometimes think that it isn’t so much what He says, as simply hearing His voice that brings such encouragement. It’s not just that He’s revealing some truth; He’s revealing Himself.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that, when I feel oppressed by the issues and problems that I see in my own life and in the world around me, You’re so quick to come and speak peace into my heart. Open my ears, I pray, to hear Your word of encouragement to me; and my eyes to recognise You standing beside me today. Amen.
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