When Life Is Out of Control, What Fills in the Gaps?

“So, the task at hand is simple. Slow down. Wonder up. Be more like birds and you’ll be more human.”
– Carlos Whittaker, How to Human

Power of Squirrels

Our electricity is out again. I’m still in bed reading my Kindle on this Saturday morning. So the lack of electricity isn’t a problem for me at the moment.

Yet once I get up, I will need electricity. And breakfast. And a hot shower.

But thanks to our pesky squirrels, none of that may happen.

I’ve only been trying to feed the birds. Just the birds.

But our bird feeder is more accurately a squirrel feeder.

And the squirrels are troublemakers. Not only do they eat all the bird feed in a day, they also dig through the potted plants on the porch, destroying my flowers.

And now, already the third time this year, a squirrel caused our lack of electricity. He crawled on top of the electrical pole in my neighbor’s yard, touched the wrong wire, and POP!

We’re all in the dark.

Are the Birds Hungry?

I pull an orange out of the refrigerator for a quick breakfast, then go for a walk through the neighborhood, spotting the electrical truck. They’re working to restore our power.

I notice on my walk how noisy my neighborhood is. But it’s a good noise. It’s birds. They are plentiful, both in sight and in sound.

While I can’t keep them fed through my own bird feeder, the birds are obviously flourishing here nonetheless.

Just as promised. The memory verse I’m learning this week is something Jesus said.

“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?”
Matthew 6:26

I’m not fully comfortable with this verse. Yes, the birds around me have easy access to food. And yes, I do believe that humans trump birds.

But are humans always cared for? I have friends living in chronic pain. I see hungry people around town. I can often feel fear even about my own future.

What was Jesus talking about?

While I can’t know for sure, I imagine Jesus telling me that we humans don’t have as much control as we’d like to think. That we need outside help.

And that help is always available.

Stay Connected

None of us can fully handle everything life throws at us. We fall down. Things go wrong, and sometimes stay wrong.

But we’re never alone (even though we sometimes feel alone; there is only one soul per body, after all). When life is out of control, what fills in the gaps?

Companionship with others, grounded in Love, may be our greatest protection to endure the dark.

While we can’t control everything, we do have skills, strength, and wisdom to control some things. And the responsibility to do so.

For the things that aren’t ours to control? We can trust what Jesus said, that there will be provision in the gaps. Not necessarily solutions. Definitely not perfection.

But connection.

Connection often appears as another human being showing up as Love.

For future uncertainties still ahead? We can trust that support will show up for those too, maybe in the form of people we haven’t even met yet. As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

I return home from my neighborhood stroll to find the electricity is back on. I discover there’s one less squirrel.

But the birds? Oh, the birds. They’re everywhere, flying and singing. They don’t mind that the squirrels have emptied the bird feeder. The birds are already full.

And for the moment, so am I.

Have you met new people this year who’ve fed you on your journey? I’m grateful for both older and new friends who are walking alongside me. Share in the comments.

Read more about Human, my One Word 2023:

12 thoughts on “When Life Is Out of Control, What Fills in the Gaps?

  1. Lynn

    Squirrels can be a menace, but look so cute doing so! It’s only through trusting that provision will show up that keeps my heart from racing panic when I’m in the dark. It’s easy to lost when I feel alone, unless see His love that also promises to provide, always. I’m glad your electricity was resolved quickly!

  2. Martha J Orlando

    Yes, squirrels can definitely be pests, Lisa, but I love them anyway. Our birdfeeders are squirrel proof, otherwise the seed we put out for the birds would not end up as theirs.
    I can’t say if I’ve met anyone recently who has helped me clear my head and heart, but when I’m confused or lost, I turn to Jesus.

  3. Suzette Katopodes

    I love the way you’ve woven the verse for this week into this lovely post. I literally fell down a week ago and walked home with only a couple of srapes and a wopper shiner the next morning. No brakes, no stitches, and I was able to walk home in gratitude. God provides not only daily sustenance but also daily protection and the birds, of course.

  4. Michele Morin

    Our current rodent menace is the chipmunk population. So destructive!
    I’m enjoying the connection this verse provides to the very visible evidence of God’s provision——and yet we doubt!

  5. Gayl

    I love how you applied that verse, Lisa. Even though the squirrels eat up all the food you put out for the birds, the birds still flourish and are happily singing! So in our lives, when something “eats up all our food,” we are not suffering alone. Circumstances may look dire, but there is help and hope. Our Lord sees us and gives us strength or sends a friend to help. “Connection often appears as another human being showing up as Love.” I love how friends in person and online have given me encouragement often at just the time I need it most. Blessings to you! xo

  6. Nancy Ruegg

    We began attending a new church in March. I’m so thankful for the number of friendly people who’ve made us feel welcome, making the effort to learn our names even. They’ve fed me joy as well as anticipation of new relationships to come. I agree Lisa–our lives our richer if we maintain are long-time friends, but also keep the door open for new friends.

  7. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, companionship with others is a gift for we spur one another on. When one is down, we can pick one another up. And much like the birds share the feeder, we can share and be generous with one another when in need. It’s amazing the lessons we can learn in simply having eyes to see. Blessings!

  8. Joanne

    Oh what pesky squirrels indeed! Our birdfeeder is attached to one of our windows and we have a squirrel (or perhaps several that just look a lot alike!) trying to climb the siding to get to the feeder. I’ve even seen the squirrel succeed once!

  9. Sarah

    Indeed… control is an illusion. I’m also reading a bit about ‘God’s not in Control’ as well. Intriguing ideas. Thanks for the challenge to remember that we aren’t in control!

  10. Cecelia Lester

    Lisa: I am somewhat housebound. However, I am able to attend church. I am getting to know people there better. God has led our church through a very challenging time since last fall. I believe the people of the church will be victorious as we allow God to help us to take care of the residual details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *