Have you ever taken time to close your eyes, hold your face to the sunshine and feel the strength of its rays penetrate through your skin? Deep enough to wrap your heart in a warm, cozy blanket?
I love to see mourning doves and robins sunbathe outside my office window. They stretch out their wings and tail and expose them to the warm rays of the sun.
Why do they do this? For the warmth? I was curious, so I researched and found there are various reasons birds sunbathe. I was especially awed by the most important of them. They stretch out their wings and fluff up the feathers on their backs and heads so that as much of their plumage and skin as possible will be exposed to the sun’s rays. There are tiny parasites that can infect their feathers and cause problems with their flight and insulation, thus affecting their survival. The heat of the sun drives these insects out of their hiding places so birds have easier access to them when they preen. Amazing how God created these survival skills, isn’t it?
Parasites get their food from or at the expense of another. What parasites do we have in our lives? What parasites eat away the life and energy of our spirits and infect us with negative feelings and lies?
There are so many of them, so I’ll only mention two of them that especially settle in deep and infect my spirit, that inhibit me from flying free in Jesus.
Insecurity eats away our confidence and pulls us back into a shell of “I can’t. I’ll never be good enough.”
Shame poisons our perspective and degrades us with “Something is wrong with you. You are nothing but ugly scum. You’ll always be deficient, defective, and worthless as a human being.”
It seems a lifelong process to get rid of them and keep them out. But we can learn so much from sunbathing birds. Like the heat of the sun dislodges the parasites, so the sunshine of God’s love can drive out those latched-on parasites that unsettle our spirits.
If birds don’t expose the parasites to the sun’s heat, the pests will devour their ability to fly and to survive. Likewise, if we don’t expose all our parasites to the (Son)shine of God’s love, we will remain miserable. Merely existing. Not thriving. Not feeling the fullness of His love. Not flying free in Jesus.
After the sun’s heat dislodges the parasites in birds, they further preen them out or they will slip right back into their hiding places again. So we need to keep on preening ourselves with God’s promises of who we really are in Him, always on alert for the devil who loves to send insecurity and shame right back into the deep recesses of our hearts.
Yes, our hearts can get so weary. Our spirits are willing, but our flesh is weak. We long for deeper healing, for the extermination of those parasites, but we can feel so helpless and hopeless.
But Jesus cares. He knows our weakness and longs for us to grab onto His strength. The sunshine of His love is always shining with warmth and healing. He yearns for us to open our hearts, to expose all those parasites to the (Son)shine.
My precious child
In Me you are
Of great value
Trust me My beloved
Open your heart
To My love
My love has power
To heal you
To give you
Freedom to fly
“His brightness is like the sunlight;
He has [bright] rays flashing from His hand,
And there [in the sunlike splendor]
is the hiding place of His power.”
Habakkuk 3:4 AMP
“But for you who revere My name,
the Sun of righteousness will rise
with healing in its rays.
And you will go out and
frolic like well-fed calves.”
And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart
[the very center and core of your being]
may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit],
so that you will know and cherish the hope
[the divine guarantee, the confident expectation]
to which He has called you, the riches of
His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people)”
Ephesians 1:18 AMP
Linking up with:
Holley – Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer – Tell His Story
Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith
Barbie – Weekend Whispers
32 thoughts on “Opening Our Hearts to the (Son)shine”
Hi Trudy! I know what you mean about that negative self-talk. It’s so damaging, almost worse than anything we hear from anyone else. I don’t think that’s really us talking, and it’s certainly not God. No, it’s something else.
Just like Jesus got rid of the moneychangers in the Temple, I need to ask Jesus to come into my heart and get rid of all that bad stuff. It doesn’t belong there! If I am His chosen one, I deserve better words, and a better attitude. Like you said, I am enough. And so are you my friend!
Thank you for your insight, Ceil. I love the visual of Jesus coming into our hearts and throwing out the bad stuff. I think past pain can make us feel that way and then we start believing it ourselves and condemning ourselves. And of course, Satan knows our vulnerable spots and loves to make us feel not enough. But yes, in Jesus we always are enough! Such great hope in that, isn’t there? May Jesus come into our hearts and kick out all that bad stuff and help us to remember we are His chosen! Hugs!
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Beautiful, Trudy … let’s keep speaking outloud who we are in Christ, who He says we are. Let’s claim our inheritance. And send the enemy and all his parasites packing …
Thank you, Linda. I love your words here. I can just see them packing at the name of Jesus. 🙂 May God give us faith and courage! Hugs!
I love the link you make with the birds sunbathing to drive out the parasites and us bathing in God’s truth to drive out the lies. It’s a powerful analogy. So true that regular (Son)bathing is important to keep us focussed on what he says about us and to free us to fly. Beautiful post!
Thank you, Carly. When I first saw a mourning dove sunbathe, I thought of how we need to soak in God’s sunlight of love. But when I read of the most important reason they do this, it awed me. May we keep our hearts open to the (Son)light to drive out the lies and may He give us freedom to fly in His love and grace! Hugs!
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Fascinating truth about birds sunbathing and the parallel to our lives in Christ. Yes: “The sunshine of His love is always shining with warmth and healing. He yearns for us to open our hearts, to expose all those parasites to the (Son)shine.” May God’s love and warmth continue to drive out those lies of insecurity and shame in both of our lives, my friend 🙂
Thank you, Dolly. I’m so glad it fascinated you, too. Those lies can be so strong but God’s love is infinitely stronger, right? Praying with you – “May God’s love and warmth continue to drive out those lies of insecurity and shame in both of our lives.” Amen! Hugs!
Love your encouragement here to stand fast in who we are in Christ. Shame and insecurity can derail our calling so easily and I know I’ve battled with both. But when we can see our selves in the light of all God has done for us, it really does renew our perspective. Thanks for your pointed encouragement today, Trudy.
Thank you, Tiffany. I’m blessed that you were encouraged. Yes, it surely does change our perspective “when we can see our selves in the light of all God has done for us.” May we keep our eyes on Jesus and His faithful, powerful love for us! Hugs!
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This is a wonderful analogy, Trudy, and your application is so relevant. Who knew i was going to learn something new about birds today? 🙂 I love it!
Thank you, Lois. I’m glad you learned something new and enjoyed it. 🙂 I love how marvelously God created His creatures and how they can teach us so much about spiritual life. May God fill us both with the sunshine of His love! Hugs!
Yours is the second post I’ve read with a bird theme today to coordinate with my own post of a tiny bird I painted! I love it when my friends are all on the same wavelength with me! I just LOVE hearing the doves coo when I’m outside, no matter where I’ve lived, they’ve always been there and I find it so comforting. Enjoying God’s creation and noticing what he brings our attention to shows his love for us, doesn’t it? Always love your nature posts, Trudy! You have a gift of sharing them with us! xo
That’s so cool, Valerie. I had to take a quick peek at your bird and am eager to read your post after I answer your comment. 🙂 I love hearing the doves coo, too, and find it so soothing. I really miss them. I can’t wait until spring comes and I can see the birds again. Yes, God surely shows His love in creation. Thank you for your kind words, my friend. May God’s faithful love fill our hearts and lead us on! Hugs!
Thank you so much for this! Just to realize we just need to keep exposing ourselves to the love of Christ. What a wonderful analogy of the birds. Blessings to you.
You’re so welcome, Mary. It’s amazing how God uses His creatures to teach spiritual lessons, isn’t it? May we keep exposing ourselves to the love of Christ! Blessings to you, too! Hugs!
Hi Trudi- This is so good- Very interesting about the birds- I didn’t know that!! I love this analogy- and love the God whispers at the end. So beautiful. I love the image of lifting our face to the son- I need to do that more! Thank you – for your wonderful thoughts always touch my heart! xoxo
Thank you, Susie. I’m so blessed that your heart was touched. I, too, need more of that lifting my face to the Son. We’ll have to keep encouraging each other. 🙂 May God give you strength and peace for each day! Hugs!
I work from home, and some afternoons I will take a moment and lay in a sunbeam, allowing the warmth to penetrate my face. Love those moments! And thank you for all your words, and for sharing the video. I loved that the narration was in chidren’s voices depicting we are all children of the most High, never forgotten.
You’re welcome, Lynn. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Time spent letting a sunbeam’s warmth penetrate your face can be so refreshing, right? I, too, loved that the video’s narration was in children’s voices. I love how you describe that is depicts “we are all children of the Most High, never forgotten.” Thank you for that comforting thought. 🙂 May the sunshine of God’s love penetrate our hearts! Hugs!
Aww, I loved reading your post today Trudy!
I learned something new today! When I was a little girl, my mama used to whistle to the birds each morning while we waited for the big yellow bus. It never failed to amaze me how she could get them to whistle back. 🙂
It’s been a very mild winter here in the midwest but, I certainly am looking forward to the spring sunshine! Thank God we have his (son)shine to help us get rid of the parasites we struggle with!
Blessings to you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Krista. I loved hearing about your mama whistling to the birds. Such a precious memory. 🙂 I like to do that, too, and it never fails to thrill me when they answer back. 🙂 What state in the midwest do you live in? I live in southeastern SD, and our winter hasn’t been very mild. We have had lots of snow and some very cold spells. I looong for spring! Officially next month! 🙂 Blessings and hugs to you, too! May the (Son)shine fill our hearts and root out those parasites!
I am a native Ohioan and I would love to have some of your snow!!! 🙂
I’m really missing it this year!
Beautiful, affirming truth here, Trudy! You inform and inspire as well as encourage and reassure with your choice of words and bible verses. The bird analogy is so apt and a lovely reminder of how God takes such infinite care and attention to detail with the way He provides for our feathered friends. Therefore, how much more is He looking after us (of little faith)?
And I was brought up short again with these words: “we need to keep on preening ourselves with God’s promises of who we really are in Him, always on alert for the devil who loves to send insecurity and shame right back into the deep recesses of our hearts.” Amen!
Because, you know what? This week I’ve been feeling insecure all over the place, even to the point of wondering what others (you included) might think of me for not having the requisite focus and energy to read the blog posts I usually love to read. Oh what a tangled web this is! I am sorry for arriving late to the party here, but I am always blessed by what I read. Thank you, friend. I care about you and your ministry to wounded souls and I will one day get round to sending another email. For now, you have my prayers and apologies for not being on top of things. Blessings and hugs! ❤
Thank you so much for your kind words, Joy. I am blessed that this spoke to your heart. I’m so sorry you’re having an extra hard time with insecurity this week. Please don’t ever beat yourself up for when or if you get here to comment. Or to email me. I don’t think any less of you, my friend. I know and understand you often don’t feel well and have a lack of energy. That plays on our emotional health as well, and it can feel so overwhelming, can’t it? You always remain in my thoughts and prayers. May God heal us ever deeper. May He cast out insecurity and ground us securely in Him! Hugs!
I just love how God can speak to our hearts through the beauty of birds, and nature.. Trudy – this is powerful, and challenged me to continually be in the SONshine of my identity in Him: “So we need to keep on preening ourselves with God’s promises of who we really are in Him, always on alert for the devil who loves to send insecurity and shame right back into the deep recesses of our hearts.” Thank you so much for sharing this, I am truly thankful for you! Blessings and hugs to you.
Thank you, Michelle. I love it, too, how God speaks to us through nature. I am truly thankful for you, too, my friend! Blessings and hugs to you, too! May we together continually be in the Sunshine of our identity in Him!
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What a perfect analogy, Trudy! Insecurity and shame are definitely my parasites as well, my friend. I can completely relate. I love the thought of (Son)shine! Thank you for this new term that will certainly stay with me. I absolutely adore the sun on my face. It’s such a cleansing feeling, and now you have just amplified that monumentally for me :).
Thank you, Candace. Those parasites are so persistent sometimes, aren’t they? I pray that every time you feel the sun on your face or see the sun shine, you will also feel the cleansing of the (Son)shine! 🙂 This makes me think of how the sun shines even behind the clouds. Even when we can’t feel it on our faces, the (Son)shine is always here for us. Something we will have to encourage each other with, right? Hugs!
Beautiful analogy today! I love the sunshine and SONshine. I love learning the reason for the birds I have seen sunbathing but also how this relates to my own insecurities that need to be bathed in the light of Christ. Thank you for such a beautiful post today.
Thank you, Mary. I am so blessed that it has blessed you. It’s so amazing what God teaches us through His creatures, isn’t it? May the SONshine’s warm love chase out all that insecurity in us! Hugs!