"Wrestling with an Angel" The Book

Endorsed by Joni Eareckson Tada, Noel Piper, Russell Moore and others, Wrestling with an Angel is available in print, audiobook, and a variety of ebook formats. Learn more about the bookhere.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How Do I know? A Little Bird Told Me.

I had a difficult time sleeping last night. I think I finally dozed off around 1am after wrestling with a bout of anxiety over my lack of middle-aged accomplishments and my overabundance of failures. I thought of finances and the future and the fleeting aspects of life all in comparison to what I have had, have now, and will or will not have in the future. It was rather depressing and exhausting.

After a sleep deprived night, I woke up early this morning to a clean snow on the ground; the symbolism of purity, freshness and peace. I love getting up early when it snows. I like to see the snowfall completely undisturbed before footprints, dog pee, and car tires mess it all up.

But it was not the thought of snow that woke me up this morning before daylight. It was the sound of birds. The only time I hear birds singing on a winter morning is after a fresh snowfall.

Why? Because they are hungry. Actually they are starving to death. And since I have a large bird feeder outside my kitchen window that stays full all winter, they depend on that seed for survival, especially when the temperature drops below zero and the snow covers the ground.

While the cry of hungry birds woke me and the pristine fresh snow enticed me, neither was enough to get my tired and sleepy body out of bed after a rather restless night. It was cold outside, my bed was warm, I was finally getting drowsy and I wanted to sleep till 10.

Then I heard it...a small voice from the darkness of my bedroom, much like the voice of an angel. At first it sounded like a dream, but then it became real and present in the room with me, “The bird feeder is empty...the birds are hungry...they need some seed.”

I imagine it was similar to the still small voice that Elijah heard on Mount Horeb, after the whirlwind, fire and earthquake…maybe even a little softer, but nonetheless just as convincing.

As I opened my foggy eyes I caught a fleeting glimpse of the angel complete in soft flowing gown and glowing face. It was my four year old daughter, Hope. “Daddy, the birds are hungry. They are tweeting outside my window and I cannot sleep. You need to fill up the bird feeder.”

I rose from my bed as if summoned by the Lord Himself, put on my sweatshirt and hiking boots, went to the garage, got the ladder and the bag of seed and went outside in the snow to fill the feeder.

I poured the seed in, spilling some onto the untouched snow intentionally for the ground feeders, and I thought to myself, “These birds really depend on this seed to live. Without it many of them would perish in the cold snow and instead of waking up to the beauty of a pristine, undisturbed snowfall, I would have woke to a cold, white blanket dotted with tiny little feathered corpses.”

As I finished pouring the bird buffet, I could hear the sound of thanksgiving whistling from the leafless trees all around the perimeter of my yard. “Your welcome,” I said out loud, rather sarcastically, hoping my neighbors didnt see me in my underwear and hiking boots standing in the snow talking to birds.

I put the ladder and the seed back in the garage, knocked the snow off my boots, fixed me some coffee and grabbed my Bible. The little messenger angel had already gone back to her heavenly abode and, except for the bird choir worshipping at my kitchen window, all was peaceful in my warm house.

A comfortable chair embraced my sore back and I placed my feet by the fire still feeling the weary effects of last nights sleep-wrestling tournament. I then turned to Matthew chapter 6 and read these words,

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

And thus my paraphrase,

“Stop worrying and losing sleep over stuff you have no control over. I have bigger plans for you than what you could ever imagine. Want proof? I sent a bird to your daughter’s window with a message. I sent your daughter to your bedside with a revelation. I sent you to the bird feeder, in your underwear, in the freezing snow, with life-giving sustenance all for a small flock of feathered Parus Carolinensis (scientific name for the particularly small birds at my feeder). I love you more than I love these birds and will take care of you accordingly. Got it?”

Got it Lord, I think I’ll go back to sleep now.


  1. I'm lying here in my sleep-tossed bed after a night similar to the one you've described, composing this comment on my iPhone. I think I'll roll out and grab my bible and a cup of coffee and leave my weary cares behind. Thanks for a lovely reminder of my Father's heart!

    Said the robin to the sparrow, 'I should really like to know, why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so!'

    Said the sparrow to the robin, 'Friend, I think that it must be that they have no Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.'

  2. I love those black-capped chickadees. Hmmmm, so does God!

  3. I found you through Noel Piper's blog.
    I work for a Christian ministry in Canada that provides Christ centred supports to people with developmental disabilities, and I so appreciate the honesty and love I see portrayed in your posts.
    Thank you so much for your willingness to be transparent.