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Out on a Limb

limbSpring is such a lovely time to be outside. Even between tasks at work, I often leave my desk and walk around the grounds. I find that simply changing my position oftentimes changes my attitude and I am refreshed. Recently, while I was strolling our office parking lot, I looked up into a magnolia tree and discovered a peculiar nest. Truly it blended in so perfectly that it surprised me to see it at all.

Magnolia trees are known for their beautiful foliage and huge, white blossoms. Their leaves range in color from a rich, dark green to various yellows, and then to rust. You can imagine my surprise when I spotted an oriole’s nest right in the middle of a clump of brightly-colored leaves. Apparently, she had built her nest from dried brush from the neighboring fields. It was oval in shape and perfectly blended with the foliage. What was so remarkable to me was its placement.

This brave mother had built her nest at the farthest point on a limb, but around the leaves. Even more peculiar, the nest was basically “suspended” from the branch by literal threads of brush. It struck me that this nest was out on a limb, hanging by a thread. If I were a mother bird, I certainly would have chosen to build my nest near the trunk and nestled it safely between the branches.

As I stood there studying this marvel, I realized what an awesome God — to program this little oriole with such genetic detail in her selection and construction of her nest. And again, it occurred to me what faith this little mother must have had in her Creator. My thoughts going every which way, suddenly, I heard the tiny squeals of life. There were three fluffy babies inside the nest and each was scrambling over the other to get on top. Hearing the mother’s chirp from a nearby tree, I carefully stepped away to watch her feed her hungry ones. I was so touched that I wrote a poem.

Out on a limb –
hanging by a thread,
Out on a limb –
there’s so much to dread.
Enemies without –
enemies within.
My safety is in doubt.
My thoughts do spin and spin.

Out on a limb –
hangin’ by a thread,
I call out to Him.

“Abba, Daddy, please, oh, PLEASE!
Come and still this scarey breeze.
I’m tossed to and fro.
This storm is too much.
The winds blow and blow.
I’m in its terrible clutch.
Help me, Father, don’t you hear?
You must see my end is near.”

Out on a limb –
hangin’ by a thread,
He calls my name.

“Dear, sweet child of Mine,
Quiet. Be still and see,
This My plan divine.
This limb is in My tree.
I have not forgotten you,
Although you doubt I’ll be true.
Even now as My wind blows,
My love cradles you so close.

Out on a limb –
hangin’ by a thread,
Your words I affirm.

“Your strength in my weakness”,
As Paul so aptly states,
My fear, Your love negates.
‘Though the storms do blow
And the earth does shake,
My circumstance You know
For Your Son, Jesus’ sake.

If I abide in You,
And You abide in me,
Your will be done is true,
And I have liberty.

I’ll swing from a limb,
if only by a thin, small thread.
‘Though hope may seem dim,
Your promise over me is spread.