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Listen while you read: "No Not One"1 (Lyrics)

1 Corinthians 9:24b – So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. (AMPC)

During the summer, out the window, I watched my three friendly squirrels racing about the yard and up and down their tree. The Lord has used them to teach me many important lessons.

Tippy arrived just recently, and is so named because of the white tip on the end of his black tail. He never stops running, and it almost wears me out just watching him. He is evidently devoted to his given task of collecting and storing food for the winter.

Tippy inspires me because he never seems to stop. It is as if he were saying, "Just because you're growing older" (my white hair is becoming quite prominent despite my efforts to cover it up), "doesn't mean you stop working for the Lord. He has a purpose for you in sharing the good news of the kingdom with others, no matter your age." Jesus clearly stated, "Seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides." (Matthew 6:33 AMPC) I appreciate that reminder because, in my advancing years, the promise of being provided with "all these things" is very comforting.

I also admire Nippy. She, like Tippy, collects and stores food in the nest. I assume that Nippy is a female because she stayed in the nest during much of the early spring, then finally appeared once again with three babies, who quickly grew up and moved away. She seems to have the additional task of keeping a watchful eye for any enemies and defending the nest from marauders such as crows; hence, I have named her Nippy.

Likewise, we are reminded in God's Word to watch out for the enemy of our souls, Satan, the devil, who will use any method to undermine our relationship with our Lord. "Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour." (1 Peter 5:8 AMPC)

Finally, there is Dippy, who, sad to say, ignored the warning to be vigilant. Unlike his two friends, he stopped frequently to nibble on the delectable morsels he discovered, instead of taking them back to the nest to store for the winter. His carelessness and lack of commitment, due to his self-centredness, proved to be tragic, and resulted in his untimely end. He stopped running once too many times. The result of neglecting to watch for enemies became a vivid reality, and I watched with horror as a huge hawk swooped down and carried him away.

As believers, we must be continually aware of Satan's tactics, whether subtle or direct, and be prepared to defend our beliefs, always alert to opportunities to share them. "Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset — rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined]." (1 Peter 5:9a AMPC) This is a vital part of the Father's instructions for each one of us as we run the race that He has set before us.

Prayer: Father in heaven, help us to study Your Word and to take it seriously. We know that You have a plan for our lives, and it is only by listening carefully and heeding Your instructions that we can navigate the pitfalls that the enemy has for us. Help us to faithfully and continually run the race that You have set before us, so that one day, we will hear those wonderful words, "Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord." Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Y. Greer <>
Sandycove Acres, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good word Sharon. God bless.

    Great devotional Sharon. Poor Dippy.

    Thanks. I liked that. Entertaining, but with a good message.

    Dear Sharon,
    That’s a delightful devotional – and serious. You have pictured and applied your teaching beautifully and sincerely.
    Keep writing.

    Thanks Sharon, really well written, cheers me up just picturing the squirrels racing around preparing for winter and caring for their young. Then you get the message across in such a straight forward way, helps start my day in a cheerful way.

    Great writing Sharon. I know these characters. They frequent my garden too. I love your message and I know it will brighten, and encourage all who read it – to sit up and take notice of what’s going on around them.

    Thanks, Sharon, for sharing this devotional with us, even if it made me sad to hear one of the squirrels became dinner for a hawk or maybe a family of hawks. Nature’s ways can be so brutal, just like the evil one. Reminder taken to heart. Blessings.

    Thanks for that. It’s amazing how God uses ordinary things to speak to us. My experience with squirrels has not been so informative. I had three last year and they stole every pear on my tree and I had none. There may have been a lesson for me in that but I was too upset to notice. I’ll have to think about some more.

    Hi Sharon
    I knew by the title that this was you writing. You love animals and natural and often write with those themes.
    Before I read any of the devotions I usually look at who the author is. Just a habit I have. Your devotionals are very inspiring.
    Blessings my friend!

    Good Morning Sharon,
    Thank you for your devotional, which is lively and thought-provoking. Yes, it appears sad when one of God’s creatures becomes sustenance for another, but if this did not happen, the predator would starve. I wonder how many think of the pig while they are enjoying bacon and eggs? One thing I ask you to consider.
    Your work is wonderful.

    Omigosh, Sharon….I KNEW it was you! Haven’t read a daily devotional from you for awhile. As I read about these three adorable squirrels and your quip about your hair color I knew in my heart, dear friend, it was our Sharon. We got such a kick out of Dippy (poor Dippy) Nippy and Tippy. We have squirrels in our yard and we just love to watch them. We get a laugh as we watch them chase each other round and round. Isn’t God wonderful to provide these little babies for us to enjoy!
    Just had to write to let you know how much we enjoyed our devotional today and how wonderful the analogy of the life (and demise) of poor little Dippy. We’ve gotta stay focused on God and beware of ol’ Satan.

    Hi Sharon
    Good story about the squirrels, we all have different talents and different ways of doing the things which need to be done, under the Lord’s guidance of course.
    Thank you for writing.

    I enjoyed this. Thanks.

    Thank you for sharing. Your illustration through the three little squirrels was so interesting, so timely and so true as it relates to us as Christians. Enjoyed the devotional, easy to remember and relate to.

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