Ranger and the Turkeys

The grapes are turning purple and nearing harvest.  Every few days I’m out among the vines with my refractometer, checking out the sugar content.  But I’m not the only one tasting grapes.  A flock of turkeys shows up early in the morning and around dusk.  Sadly, scare tape and whirligigs are of no use against these ravenous turks.

When I spot those greedy birds, I race to the screen door, squawking “Turkeys!”  Ranger is on my heels!  In a flash, he’s out on the deck.  “Where are they?  Huh? Where’d they go?”  I’m pointing madly and he’s looking.  As soon as they make a move, he spots them.  Whooo-rah!  Off he goes. Then it’s turkeys flying up – cackling pandemonium.  Back comes Ranger, canine grinning and heading down the other way, sending more turkeys on the wing.  Then he paces like a sentry, peering through the fence while I watch those bobble-heads on the far side of the mound beneath the redwoods behind the culvert.  They hang out there, gobble-grumbling, cut-cut-cutting, and finally heading off.  They’ll be back at a more opportune time.

Those turkeys remind me of the struggles I’ve been having lately with casting aside thoughts that are far from Christian.  Sometimes I feel mired in my sin nature. Watching “the news” does that to me.  There is nothing like taking my eyes off Jesus, His character, His blessings, His sovereignty, and looking around at the turbulent waves of the world to make me sink right up to my eyeteeth in discouragement, depression, and anger.

Anyone else out there feel that way?

I can let the turkeys keep plucking away the hard-grown fruit of my life – the love, joy, peace and patience, the self-control — or I can chase them away by spending time with the Lord, praying, reading His Word, thinking about what it means to “come out and be ye separate”.  I can’t do that physically.  I’m still in the world.  But I can separate myself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Apostle Paul wrote those words to Roman Christians who, like our fellow Americans, translators and missionaries left behind in Afghanistan, face persecution, torture, and execution.

Whatever we face in the days ahead, we find our peace in Jesus Christ – and in an eternal perspective.