PATIENCE WILL BRING REWARD

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One of my favorite memories is that of my grandfather Charlie feeding the squirrels. The large oaks in his backyard in Baton Rouge provided plenty of acorns, so he decided he would give them a gift one year.

He laid a handful of large southern pecans at the base of the tree closest to the house. He watched and waited from an inside window. He did not see a squirrel come that first day. The next morning the pecans were gone. He did that for several weeks until one day he saw a gray squirrel run down the trunk, pick up a pecan and scurry back up to the first limb.

Charlie continued to offer his free gift and progressed a little at a time with getting to know his squirrel. After a time he was able to sit on the back step and watch the squirrel climb down, sit at the base, and crack the pecan and eat it.

As the months went by, Charlie moved to the picnic table and sat on the bench. From here he decided to knock on the tree with a pecan, lay the little gift on the ground, step back about 10 feet and see what would happen. Surely the squirrel knew it was safe by now. He was cautious and moved ever so slowly toward the base; unsure of what Charlie was doing. When he reached the bottom of the trunk; he picked up the pecan and cracked it open without darting back up into the limbs. A smile of confidence grew on Charlie’s face.

Many months continued to pass and Charlie persistently knocked a pecan against the tree, laid it on the ground, and stepped backward, remaining a little closer each time. The Squirrel became more comfortable with Charlie and his presentation, so after a year of getting to know each other Charlie squatted down and held a pecan in the palm of his hand. The squirrel was frightened to take something that was free from his hand, so Charlie laid it on the ground and stepped back. The squirrel ran and grabbed the pecan and scampered up the tree. It felt safe taking pecans from the ground, but from Charlie’s hand there was uncertainty.

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Charlie continued holding his hand out and the squirrel continued to resist. Approaching two years, he took his time every afternoon and asked the squirrel to accept the gift in his hand. One day it happened. The little gray squirrel took the pecan. Charlie sat still and did not remove his hand. The squirrel sat next to him and cracked the pecan. The weeks passed and another squirrel hung upside down on the trunk inquisitive as to what this free gift was all about. Several squirrels began to show and found that the only requirement was simply to accept the gift.

Christmas Wreath with Red Bow

I thought about this story the other day and decided to share it this Christmas with my friends. Sunday, the pastor asked for a show of hands from all those who had shared the gospel with someone that week. One or two hands went up, and one even gave a testimony. Sadly, mine was not one of them. I have been bothered all week by that event. My hand should have been up and so should everyone else’s. The early church would have had their hands up. There would have been no teaching that Sunday because everyone had a testimony to share.

 “…there has been born FOR YOU a SAVIOR who is CHRIST THE LORD.”

Luke 2:11 (NAS)

*****

 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

2 Corinthians 9:15 (KJV)

 We are not the early church anymore, but we do have the same free gift and we should be just as excited to share as they were over two thousand years ago. It is important to understand that the Father handed us the free gift of salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ. All we have to do is accept Him. It is also through His Son that we are given the free gifts of grace and faith. Again, all we have to do is accept them.

Why are we not sharing our gift with those who do not know Christ? Like the squirrel, they are cautious and apprehensive, but with patience and perseverance we will bring them to the Gift as well. Kind, loving, and patient persistence is, should be our virtue.

 “… the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23 (NAS)

 If we believe in our heart that Jesus is Lord, it will come out of our mouth. We can’t contain it. Do you love the Lord? When is the last time you shared the gospel? Will you introduce someone to Jesus this season? He is both the Gift, and the one offering His hand if they are willing. His Gift is not only free, but it is one of sacrifice, so that you and others may have everlasting life. Why not introduce someone to the Gift while we celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son,

so that we may have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

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23 thoughts on “PATIENCE WILL BRING REWARD

  1. Agreed. A wonderful way to make your point. And it was a lovely story.

    Back to pecans….

    I’ve realized these are chocolate to squirrels. Given two different nuts, they’ll grab (and eat) the pecan first. Years ago, I had a mother and her young baby eating pecans out of my hands in under a month once.

    Giving is wonderful. 🙂

    • Thanks Michael for your comment. I used to watch my grandfather from the widow as he would coax the squirrels to come eat from his hand. He was a carpenter and worked long hours. When he got home he would grab a couple of pecans everyday to win their trust. I found a couple of babies one time when I say their mother had been run over in the road. I picked them up and kept them for a couple of days, soon to discover I did not know what I was doing so I gave them to animal rescue. It is great that you were able to do so in such a short time frame. I appreciate you and I pray you and your family will have a wonderful CHRISTmas! Blessings my friend!

  2. WOW! I think you missed your calling! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way you tied the Grandpa Charlie/squirrel story in with your message! ❤ Pastors that do that are always the ones that can hold my attention best. 😀 When I went to Christian school, growing up, they frequently tried to make us feel guilty for not actively attempting to save lost souls. (I was an extremely shy kid and never liked to talk much to people I knew, much less to strangers about such subjects that might be unwelcome.) It was not until years later that I realized there can be many ways to witness to others, such as through displaying God's love and making them curious by what they see. Or even here on our blogs. You did a remarkable job with this one, my friend!

    Now, beside your intended message, I LOVE that you have such a sweet and vivid memory of your Grandpa! My Granddaddy was an "animal whisperer." He often had squirrels, birds and other wild creatures literally eating from his hand. I wish back them I had the means and the desire to take a video of it. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story AND your message!

    • Thank You Rachel for such a sweet comment! I wish I had a video of my grandfather feeding the squirrels too, or even a photo. The only picture I have is in my mind. Perhaps you should write that picture you carry down so you can pass it on too. Blessings to you my friend and to your family for this is a joyous season!!!

  3. Well, I think you’ve just succeeded in sharing the gospel with many! This was such a delightful way of sharing the Good News — that free Gift given to us! I love it when God uses our stories to share His message. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • Thank you so much Mama! I appreciate you for making such a nice comment. I pray God will use this post ti further HIS KINGDOM! Merry CHRISTmas you and your family as well.

  4. What a wonderful and inspiring story, Andy. Makes me want to gather up pecans and go out there and make friends too!

    • Thanks Julie! You are a blessing with your words. I have thought about it several times over the years, as I have several squirrels in my back yard. I am just not sure I have the patience, lol. I appreciate you!!!<3

  5. What a wonderful story of patience! I really like this! It does really pay off and sometimes it takes awhile for trust to be built. I like this post very much! 😀

  6. A very eloquent story, and it illustrated your point so well! What a great reminder for all of us to make sure we share the good news. Thank you for the recharge in my batteries!!!

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