To my dear grandchildren,
The Tough Seagull
"God . . . [teaches] us more than the beasts of the earth, and [makes] us wiser than the fowls of heaven."
Part of the fun of being at the sea shore is watching the seagulls. They can be seen soaring high in the sky, walking on the sand, or just resting on the water. Their high-pitched "meews" are loud enough to be heard above the noise of the waves. Occasionally they will give harsh squawks when they fight over a scrap of food. There are many varieties of seagulls, but, the herring gull is the most common. Its head, back and underside are white with partly black wings, and its beak and web-footed legs are orange.
Although they are pretty and fun to watch, they often fight among themselves. Most are bullies and get into fights with each other by rough pushes with stiff, half-open wings or nasty pecks with their sharp beaks. But they are part of God's creation in spite of this, and He has made them strong, swift and wise in many ways. He has also given them great skill in using air currents to glide along tirelessly with their wings outstretched. Frequently they will stay with a ship for many miles, watching for food scraps. Although mostly scavengers, they like fresh fish, clams and oysters too. Unable to break the shell of a clam or oyster, a gull will carry it high in the air and drop it onto a rock to break it open
These birds live in large groups, making nests on the ground where their eggs and chicks attract many enemies. When a gull discovers an enemy, it gives a loud shriek. This brings the whole colony rushing at the thief with hooked beaks and club-like wings. It takes a bold intruder to risk these attacks. When very small, a hungry baby taps on a red spot on the underside of its parent's beak. The parent then brings up food for the baby to eat. They are given more solid food later.
In some ways seagulls remind us of Satan, by seeming to be so attractive when they are actually fierce and aggressive to one another. Satan makes himself attractive in the things that he offers us, but he is a deceiver and tries to bring evil into the life of every boy and girl. The Bible says this about him:
"Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Another important warning is given:
"Be sober, be vigilant [watchful]; because your adversary [enemy] the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour [destroy]"
(1 Peter 5:8).
As our opening verse states, God has made us wiser than the fowls. This God-given wisdom tells us that there is a place of safety from the devil:
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10).
Have you made Him your place of safety?