If you haven’t read “Matt the Bird” part 1, do that first. I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Several months ago, I purchased a bug zapper for our back porch. We live on what some people call a “lake” and others call a giant retention pond. Either way, it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes. I’m convinced that this body of water is a portal straight from Hell to unleash these demonic creatures to punish us. Florida ain’t all beaches and sunshine folks.

I set up the insect electric chair and read them their rights as each one that night paid the price for their crimes. It was amusing and captivating and I was proud of my leadership in protecting my family. However, what happened the next morning shook me… it shook me deep. On cue, in flies Matt! Only this time he didn’t land on my window. He landed right on top of the new zapper. I can only imagine his amazement as he stared at the pile of dead bugs like he had just found the bird version of Golden Corral. Think about it. Imagine walking into your favorite restaurant to find piles and piles of free steak, perfectly cooked for you!

As I marveled at his return, he suddenly began to shove his little beak into the light! I pounded on the window (true story) and yelled at him as if my own child had run into the street (slight embellishment). I didn’t know if it was dangerous or not but, the thought of what could happen to him devastated me. He flew away, seemingly unharmed and probably really, really satisfied. Immediately God reminded me of this truth found in 2 Corinthians 11:14 “… even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

Our enemy is a master chef with the ability to wrap up the most damaging delights in tantalizing displays. He lays out a table spread worthy of a page in Home and Garden, lures us in and we fill our bellies on his chocolate-covered sin. What seems like a blessing leaves us doubled over, sick to our stomachs and vowing to never come back again. But he knows we’ll get hungry and weak, ready to fulfill our selfish desires and return to the table, ignoring the danger of our own gluttony.

Jesus said in Luke 11:35 “Make sure the light you think you have is not actually darkness.” How do we do this? I mean, we wouldn’t fall for it if we knew it would harm us… at least most of us wouldn’t. How do we know what lies underneath the luring beauty of what we can’t look away from? How? We pray. We seek God’s wisdom in our relationships, in job opportunities, in our selfishness and even in the small decisions that seem unimportant. We pray that God will reveal who the true “chef” is behind the plate set before us.

Matt the Bird may have to learn the hard way, but we don’t. The next time you get hungry, the next time you smell steak, ask to talk to the chef. Sometimes it’s worth asking for the recipe!

John 6:35 “Jesus replied, ‘I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry.”

Earl Henning