Out On A Limb

photo-2 Sitting on the porch, drinking a cup of coffee, I was mesmerized by a squirrel in the tree.

He was running–not walking–from branch to branch.

Obviously a squirrel on a mission.

But what was amazing was how far out on the limbs he would run. Right up to the tip. To the point where the branch would be swaying wildly, bouncing with the breeze, his weight and his constant motion.

A perfect storm for stumbling and falling.

But he didn’t fall. He never seemed to hesitate.

He just launched himself onto the next limb. And the next. Balancing precariously but never questioning his footing.

I love that squirrel. I wish I was more like him.

No fluffy tail, four-footed furriness for me. But a confidence in where I’m going. An unwavering commitment to the path I’m on. Pursuing my destination with purpose.

I will admit my journey is a little bigger, a little more complex, than my furry friend. But his path is just as significant to him. I figured out he was going for the young pine cones on the ends of the branches.

He was hungry. And he was pursuing food in the way he was designed to pursue food.

He was seeking to provide for his needs.

That is our daily endeavor. To work to meet our needs.

But here’s the dilemma. I get sidetracked with what I perceive is important in the moment. What I think I need in my life. That issue then confuses my journey. It messes with my decisions. It confounds my choices.

And when I head down the wrong path, making a bad choice, I end up clinging to a leaf at the end of a branch. Dangling.

Fearing that I’ll fall.

What is it I really need?

To be secure. To be safe. To be held.

Squirrels don’t question the big issues of life. They live the way they were created to live.

In trees. Jumping from branch to branch. Satisfying their hunger.

Out on a limb.

If I were to live life out on a limb, I’d need to be sure that someone had my back. That I wouldn’t fall, even if I make a stupid mistake. That if a branch were to give way, I’d be caught.

God does that for me.

Not only does He know everything about me before I do it, He loves me enough to catch me when I fall.

That doesn’t mean I won’t get bruised, scratched up or broken on occasion. There are consequences to making bad choices. Or being on the wrong limb.

But He will never let go of me. Once I’m His, I’m His forever.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I WILL UPHOLD YOU WITH MY RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND.”   Isaiah 41:10

If God has my back, why would I fear anything? If He holds me, why would I question my security?

I’m lovingly embraced by the One who made me purposefully.

Especially when I’m out on a limb.


3 responses to “Out On A Limb”

  1. Yes, God has my back, and your back, and I’m so grateful. But living in community means that we have each others’ backs, too. Thanks for having mine, Dayle.


  2. I don’t think I’ll ever watch squirrels in the same mindless way again, Dayle! You have made them into little God-is-present reminders for me! Thanks, friend!


  3. Thank you Dayle, for all your reminders from the Lord to me/us! Will miss you guys this summer; but the “elderly” among us can’t do both and there are some “firsts” for us in Ukraine – Staff Training is earlier than usual in August! “Glad you have our backs” as Julie says! And GLAD God has mine specially when I’m out on a limb!

    You’ll get a kick out of this – on June 20, celebrating our 54th Anniversary, I was having a cup of coffee in my office and watching a squirrel do the same kind of thing. Way over in NC mountains yet! Blessings to you both and Family.


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