Today at my front door I found a baby raven. It had fallen out of a tree and was terrified. I wouldn’t count myself as a fan of ravens; to me, they are noisy, ugly, opportunistic creatures that only seem to be liked by their own kind. I was reminded however that my very first sermon, preached at a church when I was only 17, was about ravens. You see in the Old Testament, God had said that ravens were “unclean”. This meant they were not to be eaten and generally to be avoided due to their scavenging nature. In fact, when Noah wanted to see if the water had receded he let out a dove and a raven. The dove returned because it found no where else to land. The raven didn’t come back because there were still lots of bloated carcasses on the water to be enjoyed. But later God uses ravens in one of the strangest ways as a delivery service for His prophet. In 1 Kings 17:1-6 it says: And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.
So God told Elijah to proclaim a drought and then basically hid him in what we might call a safe house. He then commanded ravens to bring food in the morning and evening. So what do we learn from this? That God uses ravens and God uses us, no matter where we may have been or what we may have done. Nothing disqualifies a willing heart from serving God.
My first encounter with a hardcore “biker” was when I was 16 and had just been hit head on in my Mustang by a kid in an F150. I was in the mountains with a front fender that was barely hanging on and didn’t know how I would get home. I went into a general store to buy some rope and a very scary looking biker was there. He followed me outside and I thought my bad day was about to get worse. Instead he bent out my fender and tied it up so I could get home. Why did he do that? Because he was a raven that God had sent to help me.
The biking community is filled with “ravens”, people who may have had a difficult past, have a “less than socially acceptable” amount of tattoos, or just have difficulty socializing with anyone but their own kind. These “ravens” often have the most compassionate hearts because of the pain they have endured. Maybe you are one of these ravens, judged by your past or what others see on the surface. The exciting news is that God uses ravens and God wants to use you. There are things he can only do through you and will use all you have been through to help others as well as to help you. All you have to do is to be willing. He will take you to new heights. Just like the baby raven at my door, who was lost but with help, was able to find its way home. So reach out to God, because He is reaching out to you. You have been prepared for a purpose, it is your time to fly.
Ride with destiny,