Working in my kitchen, movement from outside the window caught my eye. I moved closer to get a better look. There on the ground near my bird feeder was a big red hawk. At first, I was in awe of his (or her) size and beauty. I was excited to see him so close up, that is until I realized what he was doing. In a swift, strong flap of his wings, he mounted upward and crashed hard into the top of a nearby arborvitae tree (a tree that I know is a nesting place for my small birds). The branches shook and out of its safety flew a small bird in fear. The hawk gave chase, his talons open and ready. I couldn’t see if the little bird escaped or not as they disappeared from view, but shortly after, the hawk was back and striking another tree. He was hunting my little birds. I don’t mind him hunting mice or other small rodents, but not my little birds! I quickly ran out and scared him off.
The next morning, I filled my feeder and put it out, but quickly noticed that not one of my birds were coming to eat their breakfast. I began to wonder why until I saw him. That old hawk was sitting in a tree at the back of our property. He sat for the longest time watching and waiting, but with no activity insight, he finally flew off. Once he had been gone for several minutes, my little birds began to venture out to the feeder. As I thought about this event, God unfolded a picture for me. God had provided these little birds with the protection of these thick trees, but when evil came calling, one little bird let fear drive his decisions. It almost, or did, cost him his life. The other little birds stayed planted in the safety of the trees even though the branches shook violently as the hawk attacked. Just as that hawk sat waiting and watching, scripture tells us that Satan prowls around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). However, we who have placed our faith in Jesus are under God’s protection. Under God’s protection, Satan is like a dog on a chain. He can only get so far before God yanks him back. When we sense Satan is near, we should seek refuge in our hiding place under the protection of God (Psalm 32:7). When Satan does attack, we should not let fear chase us out in the open making us an easy target. Instead, we should stay firmly planted in our faith; standing firm in our stronghold, that place of faith that creates a fortress so strong it is not easily accessed by evil. This stronghold has a name, Jesus. When we choose not to give in to Satan’s fear tactics, he will leave to go look elsewhere (James 4:7). So as the passage in 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “be alert or be vigilant and sober-minded,” and if need be run to the hiding place that God provides for you! Take shelter under His protection.