I had to laugh at him. A furry squirrel stretched out his entire body, upside down, to reach the scrumptious nuts and seeds in the bird feeder hung on the crepe myrtle outside my apartment patio. Crepe myrtle branches are not that strong. It was bowing as he wiggled and reached. But, he was undeterred. He wanted those sweet nuts. Tiny back claws clung to that small branch as he balanced between twig and food.
Last Sunday in a sermon, the minister told the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19) who climbed a sycamore tree to get a peek of Jesus. Shorter than most, he couldn’t see above the crowds. Instead of pouting about his plight, he took action. A sycamore is not a very big tree, and it was a bit risky to assume it could hold his weight, but he edged out onto the limb to get a glimpse of the road where his Savior would walk. Jesus noticed, and asked if he could come to Zacchaeus’ house to sup with him. Instead of just getting a glimpse, Zacchaeus got equability time with our Lord.
The minister asked us us if we would ever, like Zacchaeus, go out on a limb to meet Jesus.
I thought of that squirrel–stretching, reaching with all his might to get the good stuff. Am I willing to stretch beyond myself to achieve God’s abundant blessings– the ones He so wants to give me when I obey Him and put Him first? Or do I huddle in safety and pretend I am not supposed to have them because I don’t want to take the risk?
I have asked myself that question several times this week. I have such a blessed life with my group of Christian friends. Oh, I give to missionaries and food banks. I tithe. But do I stretch out of my comfort zone? Rarely.
Jesus offers so much. All we need is a mustard seed size faith to move mountains. From a small man in the first century who had the hope that he might get a glimpse of this amazing Man of God, to the little squirrel reaching with all his might to taste the goodness that was just out of reach, God has shown me this week two examples of what wonderful rewards there can be if I dare to venture out in faith. Am I willing to leave the safety of my world and dangle precariously on a limb in order to taste His goodness and be blessed with abundance?