Water Off a Duck’s Back


 Mama used to raise chickens and ducks. Oh, I loved those little babies in the incubator in the warm winter kitchen. The little ducks would flop around in the water, knowing instinctively that they should be swimming, while the baby chicks would do all they could to get away from the water, except to drink a little drop now and then. Somehow those chicks knew water would kill them, because they were not created to swim. Chicken feathers get wet and stringy, while the duck feathers shed the water.

What kills one lifts the other to his destiny. What wounds one heart until it cannot be healed rolls off another heart.

Instead of grieving over the troubles that come our way, the insults of those who don’t understand us, we can learn to face them head on and let them roll over us and down our backs and off us—like water off a duck’s back. Those things can’t hurt us when we act that way

 As James 1:2 NKJV says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” The word ‘count’ is a mathematic term. So maybe it isn’t ‘joy’ when it happens, but we can count it as ‘joy.’ Act like it is and call it ‘joy.’

The very thing that was sent to drown us will lift us up by our duck feathers and float us to our destiny. The human reaction is to defend ourselves, argue, fight, complain about the injustices that life brings us, but the spiritual action is to rejoice.

Decide in advance that you are going to act, not react. If you have a plan of action in advance, when those trials come your way, you will instinctively do what you plan to do.

Let the trials of life float you to your destiny.

Perfect Stillness

I was standing in the laundry room rebooting my laundry, moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer, having no conscious thought, just working automatically, when the refrigerator shut off. Silence. Isn’t it funny that you never notice the refrigerator running until it shuts off?

I seldom have silence.

Usually the first thing I do when I walk in the door is turn on the TV. When I get up in the morning, I turn on the TV and the computer. Driving down the road, I have the radio or a CD playing. The kitchen TV has news on while I cook supper and do the dishes.

There is nothing wrong with watching the news and weather, keeping informed with what is going on in the world. It’s okay to check email, read the latest in the Internet, share words of encouragement and wisdom with friends.

However I wonder if we have lost the discipline of silence.  Are we afraid of our thoughts? If we had a few free minutes of every day to think, what would we think about?

Psalms 4:4 says “Meditate upon your bed and be still.” Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” Mark 4:39, Jesus said, “Peace, be still.”

We don’t have to wait till the middle of the night to be quiet. Find a place of perfect stillness, even if it is only within your own soul. In the midst of the storms of life, those people who have found stillness, quietness, peace with the Lord, will enter the place of rest.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He (the Lord, the Most High) will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.” Psalms 91:1, 4.

The Lord’s peace like a feather pillow will surround you with perfect stillness.

Daniel Repented for His Nation

Daniel was one of four of the most prominent Jews in Babylon. He and the three Hebrew children—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—obeyed the law even in a foreign country where they had been carried captive. Through the lions’ den and the fiery furnace, they prevailed and were promoted by the king, with Daniel rising to rank right under the king himself.

 Daniel stayed loyal to his faith, yet served the king faithfully for many years. He kept the commandments of God, followed the guidelines of his religion, and studied the Torah and prophets.

One day while Daniel was reading the scroll of the prophet Jeremiah, he discovered that Jeremiah had foretold the captivity of the Jews in Babylon and had predicted right down to the very year when the captivity would be over, which was very soon. Then Daniel did the only thing he knew to do—he prayed.

The prayer of repentance in Daniel 9 is an example to us all. Daniel prayed, “We have sinned.  We have not obeyed Your voice. All Israel has transgressed Your law.”  Daniel identified himself with his people. Although he was probably the godliest man in the whole nation of Israel, he repented.  He repented for himself and for all of Israel as their representative.  Then he called on the God’s mercy. “O my God, incline Your ear, for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.”

That is not the typical Christian’s prayer these days. What do we pray? “Lord, do you see those heathens who are killing unborn babies and promoting sex and violence? What are you going to do about it? We want justice. Get ‘em, God.”

  Let’s take a lesson from Daniel. Let’s repent for our nation including ourselves, even if we are not personally guilty of the sins that have been committed.

 “Father, have mercy on the United States. Forgive us for we have sinned.”