John 13:34-35

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for them.” 

Thought for the DayInstinctively give love to someone today.

Entering the park for my walk, I noticed a lot of bird sounds and movement in the trees.  I didn’t think much about it.  As I walked, it became obvious that the smoke that had blown in from the areas burning to the north was still lingering in the air.  Looking across the lake through smoke was strange and brought sadness to my heart as I thought about the areas up north where fires are burning and destroying beautiful land.  What I did not take in consideration was the effect the smoke was having on the animals.  As we see the smoke, we go to the internet and find out the cause then we go on with our routine.  But, the animals don’t know what is going on and as I observed them, they acted different from the norm.  Birds seemed to be on the move flying back and forth quickly between trees.  Baby birds were away from their mamas walking through the leaves in the woods.  Squirrels scampered more than usual and one seemed hunched down as it rested.  Animals were in different places from where I normally see them.  Ducks were in a marsh pond where I had not seen them before and they were not moving across the lake as usual. Most were very still.  I did not see a single goose where I normally see many along my walk, and I saw a deer in an area where I have not seen them before.  I witnessed a strangeness and I believe I witnessed fear in the animals.  And there was nothing I could do.

Watching the reaction to fear in the animals brought tears to my eyes as I walked.  There was nothing I could do for them and I prayed that instinct might bring them peace.  This morning, I awake thinking about God’s people around the world who are living in fear and do not understand what is happening to them.  The smoke of life has them scared for their families and frightened about what is going to happen next. Millions live in countries where earthquakes and famine have affected them and they do not know when the next meal will come.  Many live in fear of how neighbors and even family members might treat them.  As Christians, we know the peace of God and we have been taught to love our neighbors and to take care of each other.  Today, I looked at these animals and realized there was nothing I could do other than pray for them.  I know, though, that God created animals with strong instinct and the reactions I witnessed came from the protective instinct God gave them.  I know, also, that God gave us a commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.  That is our “instinct” when we see someone hurting. Today, more than ever, we need to have an instinctive love in our hearts for all of God’s creatures.  Today I pray for all around the world who need to feel the love of Christ.  I pray that our brothers and sisters will bring God’s love to them.  How can I show that love today?

Prayer:  Almighty God, we praise You today for making your creatures on earth with strong instinct.  You help those sweet animals know what to do instinctively when they are in trouble.  Thank you for giving us the love in our hearts to help those in need and to show love where we can.  Lord, please bring peace where there seems to be no peace today.  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Instinct to Love

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