Tag Archive | Great Blue Heron

Dead or Alive? (Part 2) Dealing with Stinky Fish



A quick recap: While taking a walk recently, the hubster and I came across a Great Blue Heron struggling to eat a fish. No matter how it maneuvered that fish, it just wouldn’t go into his bill and down his throat.

It was fascinating to watch and we wondered if the heron would ever achieve his goal.

In Part 1 we decided the fish was probably alive but very large. It was going to be a five-star meal and worth the effort. But after several minutes the heron gave up the fight, left the fish, and “walked” away.

We often find ourselves in situations that require fighting mode. And scripture after scripture encourages us to not give up but to put on God’s armor and contend with our enemy. But the Bible also instructs us to use wisdom, trust in God, and know when the fight is God-ordained and if not, when to walk away.

In our second scenario my hubby and I wondered if the fish was even alive. Quite possibly it was dead. And if dead, it could have been REALLY dead, meaning stinky. So what did the Great Blue Heron do with the stinky fish? He left it on the ground and turned away to seek a more suitable dinner.

Are we willing to do the same in a stinky situation?

Throughout our Christian walk we will be presented with stinky situations. Things that just don’t seem right or add up. A temptation we encounter followed by us talking to ourselves with excuses as to why this is really okay. A questionable work situation that puts Bible ethics to the test in which we think we can’t disappoint the boss so we go along with it. Or how about moral issues that make us throw biblical teaching out of the window?

Whatever the event, whatever the issue, if it stinks, it’s probably not God and most likely something we must abandon. Watching the Great Blue Heron struggle with whether or not to give up on that dead stinky fish was a reminder that in life I, too, will be presented with enticing things. Not all of which are good for me. With God’s wisdom and for my own good I need to be willing to leave them and walk away so the stink doesn’t get on me either. And so the cause of Christ is not harmed.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s victory parade. God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume. Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost. To those who are lost, we are the smell of death that brings death, but to those who are being saved, we are the smell of life that brings life.” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NCV)

Using God’s wisdom to discern whether or not something is “a little fishy” let’s keep the stink off and instead be adorned with the sweet-smelling fragrance of Christ.


Dead or Alive (Part 1): Fight or give up?



Hubby and I are getting into the habit of a nightly walk of about 45 minutes. We wind our way through our neighborhood and then into the attached park. There is a nice pond where on occasion you can see otters, turtles, alligators, and lots of birds such as egrets, Greg Blue Herons, ibis, etc.

Recently, we slowed down to observe a Great Blue Heron wrestling with a fish. Whether or not the fish was alive, we couldn’t tell, but either way it was most intriguing to watch. And true to how the Lord often speaks to me (through nature), His wonderful voice showed me two lessons from that one incident.

We continued watching the heron try his hardest to enjoy a tasty seafood dinner. He flipped the bird around this way and that. He put it on the ground and picked it up again. No matter how he tried to position it, it just wasn’t going to get into his bill and find its way down his throat.

Since Great Blue Herons can eat fish much larger than their necks either this fish was just too large or it was too much of an effort for the bird. In either case the heron eventually left the bird on the ground and started looking elsewhere for his evening meal. I couldn’t help but think about my own struggles at times.

We know all things are possible with God and we’ve often stood on that promise while we wait for Him to work out circumstances so that the impossible actually happens. But there are many times when God has a Plan B, something better or simply something different. And while many Scriptures tell us to stand and fight, we are also told to ask for wisdom, be still, and wait on God.

I think the Great Blue Heron used wisdom that night. He figured out the fight wasn’t worth it and that this was one of those times when it was best to forfeit the meal and walk away. Whatever the reason, that evening his choice was to give up the fight and not expend any more energy.

Psalm 3:5 states we are to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and…not lean on your own understanding.” In fact, the Bible is full of verses about waiting on the Lord and watching Him fight for you, pull you up out of a pit, or bring deliverance from an enemy. And let’s not forget the book of Ecclesiastes which reminds us there is a time for everything.

Seems like the Great Blue Heron knew the timing was off and had the wisdom to do something that seemed strange…abandon that fish. May we be willing to seek God’s wisdom first in all things, completely trust in Him, and abandon our own desires and plans, to rest in Him and wait for Him to act on our behalf.

Stop back soon for Dead or Alive, Part 2 (Stinky Fish) when we’ll talk about using God’s wisdom (discernment) in stinking situations.