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It is a scene that is all too common at our house. Soaring red tail hawks.

Their headquarters are just yards away in the massively tall trees lining the cornfield. Their screech is usually the only warning we get before they make their way directly above the house. Other times, we have no warning but notice them merely because we keep our eyes on the sky quite often.

After losing our beloved Floyd to one of these last Christmas, we stand guard closer than ever when our chickens free range. This day was another one of those days.

Reece and I were chicken sitting as foraging and free time was being enjoyed. Moses, our bird dog, who often meanders close to the chickens since he identifies himself as their brother, was also nearby. When I heard the predatory call, I looked up to find the red tail hawk merely yards above our heads. Waving my hat and hollering at it did not seem to deter it this time. The presence of Moses did not seem to startle it. I told Reece to stand guard with the hens as I hovered over our tiny roosters. But when I looked over Reece was nowhere to be found. 

Just when I was expecting the winged assailant to nose dive for its prey, I heard the click click click of ammunition being dropped. I turned around and saw my daughter cocking her BB gun and starting to take aim at the sky. 

“What are you doing?! You can’t shoot it!” I told her half shocked and half unsurprised. 

I was reminded of past times she had asked my permission to shoot a burglar with her bow if one tried to break in the house. I was reminded of my 7 year old curly locks innocent looking cowgirl attempting to shoot birds out of our tree with a homemade whittled sling shot. I was reminded that the tiny frame on this little girl has never stopped her from doing big things. And I was quite confident that shooting a large hawk out of the sky would not be beyond her capability.

Continuing to take aim, she matter of factly stated, “no one is going to mess with my chickens.”

After reminding her that it was a federal crime she reluctantly lowered the rifle. Thankfully, the red tail decided to move on to find other prey. And thankfully, the BB gun went back into the shed.

Taking matters into our own hands. 

A hefty fine or something else could have resulted from my  daughter’s cute, yet persistent and serious attempt. There are other times, though, our autonomous actions can have far worse consequences. 

Those times we take matters into our own hands. We react with passion before we react with thought. We seek not the help or wisdom we need before heading off the deep end. 

“Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.”- Proverbs 20:22

It is very difficult, at times, to wait on the Lord. Yes, we hear this quite often. “Wait on the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart….Wait on the Lord and He will answer you.” But what about “Wait on the Lord and he will avenge you”? Do we think this one through? Do we wait on the Lord for such occasions.

This one may take some practice. It is natural for us to want to handle a situation the way we think is best. It is often our natural tendency to react and overreact. And like a momma bear following only instinct, we often take action with little or no wisdom from the Lord.

“Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help. Also draw out the spear, and stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” (Psalm 35:1)

When someone has wronged you, deceived you, hurt you…pay back may seem the next logical step. But more times than not, pay back is not sweet. When a situation becomes difficult…our quick fixes usually turn out to be quick destroyers.

If God can save us from eternity in hell, he can surely deliver us from our enemies, through our problems, and out of our mess ups.

Wait for the Lord… and the red tailed predator will soon fly away.


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