This year, my family and I have enjoyed watching a flock of turkeys, made up of a tom, a hen, and eight chicks, travel through our yard on a regular basis. They have made their rounds through our neighborhood, feasting on a smorgasbord of grass, nuts, and insects from the various yards. It’s been fun, watching the chicks grow up, and we’ve been so excited to see that all eight of the little ones have survived and grown as big as their parents!
One day, I saw them crossing the street from our neighbor’s yard into ours. They, then, congregated around out mailbox and into our side yard. What caught my eye was the wide wingspan of one turkey, as it flew and perched on top of our mailbox while the others eagerly foraged on the ground below! In all the time we had watched them, they had never perched in our yard, so I quickly grabbed my phone, snapped a few pictures, and texted them to several people. The following caption was the first thing that came to my mind: “Sometimes, we need a new perspective!” I’m really thankful the LORD gave me that visual that day with the turkeys. As Thanksgiving approaches, I have been thinking more about the significance of it. Here is what the LORD has revealed…
A lot of times, filling our minds and hearts with thankfulness takes our adopting a completely new perspective. Just like the turkey put forth effort to physically move from one viewpoint to another on the mailbox, moving our thoughts from a place of grumbling to one of gratitude requires a significant amount of mental effort on our parts.
Many of the turkeys, still on the ground, were able to feast on a plethora of food, but the turkey on the mailbox just stood there, looking around. Isn’t that so like life when we complain? There is always more than enough negativity to gorge ourselves on, and it only gets fueled by others we are around, doing the same. When we perch ourselves on a different vantage point, however, looking for things to be thankful for, we can tend to feel like we are the only ones, yet our outlook is a lot clearer and healthier.
Did you know that turkeys perch, so they are safer? If one or more is perched up high, keeping watch over the flock, the flock is less susceptible to a ground predator’s attack. Likewise, when we intentionally focus our thoughts on “things above” (Col. 3:2) and research matters to get to the heart of them and assess them according to the Word of God and from a viewpoint of Christ’s reign over it (Col. 3:1), we are less susceptible to fall prey to the enemy’s schemes. This may include being thankful for what God has given us; seeing people as God does; focusing on what God is doing in, around, and through us; etc. This not only protects US, but also looks out for those around us!
Satan is so crafty and always on the prowl, and it’s easy to fall prey to his schemes. I know I’m not the only one who feels exhausted, at times, from the energy it takes to speak life into those around me! Our efforts are NOT wasted. The LORD IS using them to shine His light in the darkness and transform lives, whether we see immediate results or not! Just the fact that the enemy sees someone “perched up above” may alter his plan of attack.
“Turkey perch” with me for a minute…I have had people say to me multiple times in the last couple years, “I’m so sorry you have to go through this!” I know their hearts, and they are sincere; they care about me, and no one wants to see someone they care about hurt. Yet my reply is, “I’m not!!” I, then, have a platform to share what I am thankful for and how the LORD has been working through it. Here are my thoughts…
|Chronic migraines||I praise God that, through a modified treatment plan, my migraines are less often each month. However, if it wasn’t for all the times I have laid down, having nowhere to look but up, I wouldn’t have had the still quiet to hear the voice of the Spirit better and learn to better communicate with the LORD.|
|Chronic fatigue||I am so thankful to have more answers and know this is separate from my migraines; it helps me better understand what I have been going through. I also praise God for more good days where I feel physically stronger.|
|Nervous system disorder–PPPD||I still thank God when I walk on uneven grass, that I am able to walk, again. The other day, I forgot my cell phone; I remembered, as we were getting in our vehicle. As I went back into the house and jogged to get my phone, I thought, “I wouldn’t have been able to do this a year and a half ago!” Praise you, LORD! Even though I still struggle with movement, I am thankful to God for my Mayo doctor, all of the information he has been able to provide to me because of their research in this area, and for the treatment plan he has prescribed for me. Though I still have to monitor my activities, I have more days that I feel myself. I have much to be thankful for!|
|Fibromyalgia tendencies||Pain has given me a different view of others in need. The LORD has increased my compassion level for those hurting. Thank you, LORD, for a different perspective.|
|Nervous system disorder–Spasmodic dysphonia||There are so many jobs that are difficult to perform well without a voice that is strong and unwavering, yet I believe the LORD has used this disorder to lead me exactly where He wants me to be. While I miss being able to sing to Him with my voice, my heart sings louder!!|
|Brain tumor||Even though the tumor has grown a decent amount over the last year, I have seen the LORD in it, as well. He has allowed it to grow in a way that allows it to hang out in there for a while; this allows me more time to work on what He has called me to do! Thank you, LORD!|
|All of the above||If it wasn’t for all of the health issues I have experienced, I would still be working a different job and would not have been able to pursue this amazing opportunity to work with the LORD on a Bible study or this blog!!! I’ve been SO blessed by both! I am so humbled to be used by Him…and thankful!!|
“Turkey perch” with me! What would yours look like? I’d love to hear!