Squirrels, Birds, And Skunks

Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 6:26 – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (NIV)

While I believe Jesus' words that God does feed the birds of the air, I love to watch them flutter around my bird feeders as they chow down for the trip ahead every spring and fall, or if it's summer, to furiously fly off to feed hungry chicks. Their vibrant colours — the red of the cardinals, the blue of the jays, and the yellow of the finches — all captivate me.

However, there are some critters that don't captivate me, and I definitely don't want to encounter them: skunks. Our area has a plethora of them. Many nights, I smell them as they waddle around scarfing up slugs and other not-so-nice insects beneath the feeders. Skunks are among the unintended consequences to my generosity — and so are squirrels.

Although they can be comical to watch, pirate squirrels regularly decimate the contents of my bird feeders. During the process of stuffing their cheek pouches with seeds, squirrels wrap their furry bodies around the feeders, dislodge the lids, and often knock the whole feeder to the ground, scattering seed throughout the grass.

This also feeds the wild rabbits that entertain us with high hops and alert, twitching noses scanning for predatory neighbourhood cats. The felines scarcely faze the squirrels, because the squirrels are so much faster. With cheek pouches stuffed full, these lively critters scamper away, hopping from tree branch to tree branch, quickly hiding their booty in secret storage spots known only to them. Come winter, they've hidden away enough seed that would have fed a huge flock of birds.

When I must buy more seed, my pocketbook takes a hit, but the expense helps the migrating birds make the journey to and from warmer climates. So much enjoyment comes from watching God's critters. They're so valuable.

Even so, Jesus tells us that we humans are much more valuable than the outlay of funds to feed wild and tame critters. Do I truly value other people much more than I value the wild things in my area?

Jesus reminds us that God appreciates and loves each one of us, even though we all at times smell like skunks and do things that we'd rather not remember. Still, God loves us. Like the childhood song goes, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, we are weak, but He is strong." But here is the kicker: because God loves all of us skunks, we are to love each other, even the other skunks.

1 John 4:10-11 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord God, we come in Jesus' name, awed by Your critters, and even more, by Your love for us. Thank You … thank You … thank You! Bless all Your creatures and while You're at it, please bless us, too, and enable us to bless others in Your name. Amen.

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About the author:

Cassandra Wessel <casswessel4319@gmail.com>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Cass.

    From one skunk to another – great analogy.

    Very good, Cass! I love stories of critters too. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Thanks for the good word, Cass. You could be describing my yard, minus the skunks.

    Lovely message. Thanks for sharing your gift of love for ‘critters’ and writing so that we can take daily events and reflect on God’s presence in our lives.

    So good to see and read your devotions again. You and your word pictures were greatly missed.

    Hi Sandy,
    Thank you for this morning’s devotional. It’s good to see you still writing.

    Thank you, Cassandra, for a lovely reminder of His gracious supply of mercy and grace. Love the birds and critters activities also.
    God bless.

    Thanks for your devotional, Cass. The hummingbirds are plentiful in our part of Texas, and they are engaging to say the least. Right now the sprinkler is on our flower bed…it is so dry here with high temperatures…and the hummingbirds are “flirting” with the spray.
    As for skunks…unfortunately, we have those as well.

    Cassandra, I loved your great descriptions of the wildlife in your yard, and the reminder of how God loves his whole creation, even the ones with which we have problems, including some of our own kind.
    That love is a lesson to us to strive to love as Jesus showed us.
    Thanks for writing this for us!

    Great devotional Cassandra,
    I feel exactly the same as you do when I look at my bird feeders and welcome all of the Dutch birds. I am from Toronto and the birds are very different here but just as beautiful.
    The cheeky crows try to eat everything and never save any for the baby birds… I try to outsmart them, but it never works!!
    Take care and have a blessed day!

    Greetings Cassandra and many thanks for your delightful devotional today. It brought back so many memories when I used to have all that activity of squirrels, birds, and skunks in my backyard. It is amazing to see the activity that erupts when you have a bird feeder! We are blessed with the variety of God’s creations for us, and the endless love and care provided for us through Jesus, our Lord. Blessings for writing and the pleasure of having a devotional writing from you again.

    Good morning, Cassandra,
    I enjoyed your devotional and from the title I had no idea what journey you were going to take us on. I loved how you tied it into “we are to love each other even our skunks”. This is an important message that we all need reminders because it is definitely easier to be kind to our friends than strangers. Thank you for reminding us to bless others as God has blessed us.
    May you enjoy the Summer Solstice and have a blessed day.

    All these creatures are trouble in a big city; we are warned not to feed them.

    Thanks, Cass. Your backyard bounty sounds like fun and your application paragraph is spot on.

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today.
    Your Mum certainly must have been an interesting woman. Blessings.

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