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Be Open to the Bright Blessings Coming Your Way

An unexpected visit from a chirpy cardinal reminded her of God’s higher purpose.

A bright red cardinal
Credit: mirceax
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Behold, I will do a new thing . . . —Isaiah 43:19 (NKJV)

Honey, come quick, Robert Redford’s in the backyard!” called my husband, Terry, who was resting on the couch facing the living room window. Terry was in his twelfth week of chemo, and I was feeling overloaded by having to play solo with chores we usually shared. Chalking it up to my exhaustion, I was sure I had misheard Terry. When I arrived at the window, Terry announced, “Robert Redbird wishes you a happy new year!” Housebound these past weeks, and being avid jokers, we’d taken up creating celebrity-sounding names for any creature that stopped by for a visit.

To be honest, I had been trying to ignore that it was New Year’s Day. The last thing I needed to hear was a chirpy “Happy new year” from Robert Redbird. The past months of dealing with Terry’s health challenges had been stressful. Would the new year ahead be any better?

Taking a closer look through the window, I beheld the most vivid male cardinal I had ever seen. The contrast of his red feathers against the gray background was breathtaking. It made me recall my uncle Ittai, a retired army colonel, who late in life became a very successful artist. He saw each new year as a fresh canvas—just waiting for new splashes of vibrant color.

I knew that our visiting red bird was not here as part of a silly name game, but rather for a higher purpose, as only God could bring—inviting me to turn my eyes from the sorrows of the past year and to embrace the fresh canvas of his bright, colorful promises to come.

Lord, help me to not be bound by the stresses of the past year, but to be open to the new year ahead. Please walk with me daily so that I keep my eyes on the fresh new year ahead of me and, with it, your bright blessings to come.

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