One day recently while working in the house I would occasionally hear a racket coming from outside. It actually sounded like a squirrel running through our gutters at break-neck speed. It would go on for a few seconds and then subside. I left for a while to run errands and returned not thinking anything else about the noises from earlier.
Later in the afternoon, I went outside to check out my little garden. I watch it constantly checking on each and every bud. I compare it to waiting and watching for water to boil. As I went around looking for signs of growth, I noticed that our dog, Buffy, was standing at the gutter downspout with ears perked and tail half-wagging. She would occasionally whimper. I went over to see what she was so focused upon and heard a faint scratching coming from inside of the gutter. I tapped on it and again would hear the noise. I began to realize that the sounds from earlier that morning had evidently resulted in some animal, probably a squirrel, taking a tumble down our gutter downspout.
Ken was out of town with Andy on a father-son weekend so it was up to me to decide what to do. As I could see it, I had two choices: leave the situation alone and wait for the aromatic results which certainly would come OR make every attempt to free the animal. I did what any self-respecting woman would do, I began to plot how I would get this animal out of my gutter!
To get the complete picture and dilemma, you need to understand the design of our house. It is very tall. Two stories. No roof break at the first level. Straight up and straight down. Probably 30 feet. Whatever found itself in the gutter probably fell all the way down and landed in a 45 degree curve at the very bottom where the gutter is bolted/welded into a french drain that runs underground. Definitely a problem and a challenge.
I pulled and tugged but to no avail. I was hopeful that the 45 degree piece would let go from the rest of the gutter, but it did not. It did not even budge. All signs of life within the gutter had disappeared at this time. I decided that I needed a flathead screw driver to wedge the gutter seam apart. I worked and I worked, it barely budged. I do not know what company installed these gutters, but my hat is off to them!
Finally, after several feeble attempts, I could see where my efforts were paying off. Still, it would take more strength than I had so I went inside and got Adam to help. There we all were...Adam, the dog and myself...noses at the gutter...tugging and pulling. All of a sudden...the gutter gave slightly and we all jumped back. I could just see this wild-eyed squirrel lurching from the darkness of the gutter attacking hysterically the first thing in sight. Absolutely nothing happened and we deduced that the gutter needed to move more.
After more attempts, the gutter finally gave way and we all again jumped back about 10 feet. We waited and watched. Nothing happened at first, but then we began to see leaves beginning to be pushed out of the end. Then, there he was...a bird. He tumbled out. Gains his footing and composure. Takes everything in for a minute and then quickly flies to the nearest branch. He looks back down at us probably trying to figure out exactly what had just transpired.
As I was trying to figure out what I would be blogging about this final time with you (and having some difficulty...it is not as easy as it seems), I was reminded of the bird incident. I am just like that little bird. From time to time, I find myself having tumbled down into very dark places of doubt, fear, anxiety and worry. Initially, I put up a really good fight...I analyze, scrutinize, worry, experience sleepless nights and run out every conceivable scenario in my mind with the situation. It consumes me trying to find a resolution. Eventually, I am left totally exhausted and just a breath away from hopelessness. Then, I remember! I cry out to the Lord for His mercy and help. He is faithful. Immediately, I know that He has a perspective on the situation far better than mine. He knows exactly what needs to happen and when. All I have to do is be patient and let Him have the whole thing.
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
The verb cast is an action verb. It does not imply that Jesus will take our burden away from our clenched grasp. We must give it to Him freely. I must then let it go trusting that He will take care of it in His time in His way bringing Him the most glory.
I am really trying to learn this. It is difficult because I could be a professional at worry! Unlike the little bird freed from the gutter, I can choose to allow the Lord to have the situation right away preventing a lot of sleepless nights!
Thanks for allowing me to share these past few weeks. I love you all. You are a treasure to me!