This greedy little squirrel and my husband are engaged in a conflict. Every morning John fills the bird feeder and scatters sunflower seeds across the deck for birds that prefer to eat it there. This squirrel not only gobbles up the seeds on the deck but also climbs up the pole into the bird feeder and eats the seeds in it.
John keeps chasing him out but he persistently returns. I’m amazed at how many times this happens in one day. It reminds me of another conflict–the conflict Paul speaks about in the book of Galatians. Here, the conflict is between the desires of God’s Spirit and the desires of the flesh.
In this context, the word “flesh” refers to the sin nature passed down from Adam to every human, not to our physical bodies. Our struggle with the flesh continues throughout life. It’s through grace, not law, that we win this battle. As usual, I think my poem conveys this truth better than these preceding paragraphs.
When we embrace law Instead of grace, Life is not easy; There’s no smile on our face. We get stuck in our structure And fight with each other. Feeling “right” in our ways, We wrongly appraise Our status and worth— Thinking it’s based on our work, Our wealth or position; What God wants is contrition— A heart that is humble, Repentant and thankful, A heart of submission Instead of ambition; A spirit that’s willing To follow his calling, Unafraid of the pressure That this might engender, From family and friends— To whom this change makes no sense. Let us not fear it! For life in the Spirit Brings great freedom and joy, Peace that no one can destroy, Strength and contentment ‘Cause Jesus is present! What hope this engenders. What strength it inspires. What wonderful knowledge. He shatters all bondage! Let us never despair But with praise fill the air; He sees our need and answers our prayer. We, his children, are safe in his care. 5/22/19 Jane Ault