What a ridiculous sight! We were driving down the road and there, in a puddle too small to accommodate his body, sat a stubborn little duck.
I’m certain there was a time when his chosen location would have made sense. And that time was when the puddle was much larger. Where we live, winter brings bountiful snow, leaving sizeable puddles running along the ditches each spring. It’s about this time when the ducks return to the area to nest. These large bodies of water immediately draw the attention of all incoming water fowl, and the spring always begins with temporary road-side lakes teaming with feathered friends everywhere.
As spring becomes summer and the water dries up, most of the birds move on to the picturesque lakes and rivers in our area.
It’s those last few birds that prove peculiar. Some of them refuse to move on. No matter how little water is left, they snub the notion of a better habitat. It’s foolish, and yet, I think I can relate to those odd ducks.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21)
There are times when I am all too eager to hunker down and make permanent something that was only ever meant to be a temporary pause. And I can’t help but wonder if I look as silly to God as those ducks sticking to their puddles, until all that’s left is a dried-up crust of mud.
God has a better place for those ducks. Certainly, He provided those puddles as a spot to stop and rest, while the icy lakes and rivers had a chance to thaw. But they were never meant to stay in the puddles. They were meant for bigger waters, full of life.
So often we assume that the first place God places us is our final destiny. We think we have arrived. But what does our good God know? That most of us can’t handle our entire voyage all at once. So He breaks up our journey, with stops along the way, giving us a chance to catch our breath.
I imagine the disciples thought they were facing the one big change they were destined for when they chose to follow Jesus. They left their families and jobs, their whole lives, to follow this man. Few people will make such a leap in their lifetime.
It was a big change. But then, things changed again.
Jesus died. Yes, He rose again. But in the end, their leader was gone. The disciples had no choice but to leave their puddle. They went from being discipled to making disciples. God knew they couldn’t handle knowing the end from the beginning – so He broke their journey into stages.
It’s important to move on when it’s time.
Lately, it feels like my puddle is beginning to shrink. Is yours? Could He be calling us to something new?
Let’s not be afraid to fly further. Let’s not miss out on those beautiful lakes and rivers because we chose to sit in a puddle on the side of the road. He has so much more for us than we can possibly imagine.Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
We read the words “exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think,” and I’m not sure what we picture, but it certainly has nothing to do with me . . . or does it?
You’re changing my mind on this, Jaime. Thank you for sharing this encouraging parable.
I struggle with that same thing! Why on earth would God ever want to do something big with me? I guess that proves His thoughts are most certainly above my thoughts!
Thank you, Michele!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I was certainly intrigued by the title of your post. You made me see those odd ducks flapping around (looking rather silly) in their diminishing puddle. Oh how I can be a silly, odd duck at times. I think I know what’s best for me. Or, I’m willing to settle for so much less than what God has in store. But, getting out of our “puddle” takes risk, trust, being willing to hold that righteous right hand and say, “Ok, Lord I’ll go with You.” Thank you for reminding me, with a wonderful analogy, not to stay stuck in my puddle! Especially when God has grand, placid lakes in store for me. Loved this 🙂
Thank you, Bev. I always enjoy reading your wisdom-filled comments. And I certainly relate to being that foolish-looking duck!
I can totally relate to that duck except I no longer want to be sitting in a puddle. I long to be in the lakes and rivers but I feel that God has me in my puddle for a reason and when He gets ready for me to fly, then He’ll open the doors. I strive everyday to find joy in my puddle and look for new ways to be a blessing to others while I wait. I strive to make the best of what I’ve got and praise God for this season of life because I know He is molding me and preparing me for what’s next to come. At times, I find myself all too easily becoming discontent and aching so terribly to move on to the next phase of my life. That’s when I really have to immerse myself in prayer and ask God to open my eyes to what He has for me now, to give me this day my daily bread. Sitting in this puddle has not been an easy lesson, but when I finally make it to the lakes, will be so much sweeter and never taken for granted.
I must confess, Allison, that God gave me this post quite some time ago. But He had me hold onto it for my (what felt like) very long season in that puddle, and would not let me show the world until my own puddle began to shrink. So I totally understand that anticipation – that looking forward to what’s coming! But you are doing the wise thing, waiting with God where He has you now until He says it’s time to go. It’s always better to follow His steps, and we grow so much in the wait!
Thank you! Allison. Your post meant a lot!
We all have puddles God seems to be working on before going to the lake. And as you say we become more appreciative.
Have my puddle too. God is Working. Thea
Jaime, I love your post! I’m a huge fan of ducks, so I can appreciate how they like to hang out in their puddles. I’m no different, but there are seasons where I would give anything for God to provide a swift exit from a difficult puddle. 🙂 I’m in a puddle now, dealing with a chronic digestive disorder, and it’s absolutely draining me on many days. But your post reminds me that He is in charge of all of my puddles, and THAT is good news!
Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow!!
Juil Dandini says
Lara, I can identify with your situation. I am also dealing with a digestive disorder from several years of stress of work, my husband getting dementia, and his death not too long after. This post is inspiring to me because I have had many chapters in my life, and I need to remember that the 16 years of the very best chapter that has closed is not the end of the book! I know that God has always surprised me with greater joy than I ever imagined! Juil
Juil, thank you so much for your reply! Your prayers are so appreciated! The Lord is in charge, and I’m hopeful! I’m so thankful for our sweet community of believers and encouragers! <
I am so sorry you’re in some difficult muck right now, Lara. I will pray for relief and healing. And that this particular puddle shrinks quickly!
Jaime, thank you, thank you so much! 🙂 Have a blessed day! <
Joey Rudder says
Lara and Juil, I may not understand what your digestive disorders are but felt led to tell you both there is hope! I struggled for years with multiple food allergies, some severe, and seemed like I was never going to feel good or have energy again. I started getting sick when I ate pretty much anything not to mention I kept putting on weight. A dear friend of mine told me to try the Whole30, and honestly I wanted no part of it until I finally got so desperate that I had to do something. (I promise I’m not a sales person and I’m not trying to “sell” you anything. I’m actually an anti-diet girl!) This program revealed what was right for my body and what I needed to stay away. I have NO idea if this helps you in anyway, but I remember how sick I felt and anytime I read about someone else struggling I want to share what helped me. God bless you and praying for you both!
Joey, thank you so much! I have heard good things about Whole 30. I have an appointment next month with a functional physician who is a GI expert along with a Registered Dietitian who specializes in GI issues and will bring this food plan up to them. Thanks for your prayers!! <
Joey Rudder says
Lara, I will definitely keep praying for you and your appointment! May you get some answers and relief. And may God bless you and bring you comfort while you’re waiting.
Beth Williams says
Praying for relief. May God send the right experts to help you in your search for answers. May you find comfort in your puddle while waiting.
Oh, Beth, thank you so much! Your prayers, support and encouragement mean the world to me. Have a GREAT day! <
Awesome, awesome, awesome! Great writing and wonderful message – thank you for sharing! Today I will NOT be a duck! Ha!
Haha! Thank you, Jessica!
You can be a duck, just a smarter duck than some of us! 😉
Little Mary says
Wow, wow!!! So thankful for this beautiful post, Jaime!! I needed to be reminded today that God has wonderful plans for me. Totally love the duck analogy!!!!! I won’t forget that one for a while!!!
Joey Rudder says
Thank you, Jaime! This truly blessed me this morning. It helped me to look back over my shoulder and see that some of the changes God just brought me through were to help me leave that little puddle; the one I was getting too comfortable in. I’m SO excited to see the beautiful lake He’s leading me to and to live the life He has for me!
Thanks again for the wonderful encouragement today. 🙂 God bless you!
Thank you, Joey, I’m so glad it was an encouragement.
It does help to look back sometimes and see how far He’s brought us, doesn’t it?
Joey Rudder says
It sure does! He’s so awesome!!
Kerry Campbell says
It’s true, we could never handle knowing the end from the beginning. Thinking of the mercy of God who breaks our journey into stages and gives us room to breathe, but who also never tires in working for our good and giving us more and more life-giving space and water. Great word today, thank you!
Thank you, Kerry. I certainly appreciate how gentle He is as He brings us along.
I love normal life situations to speak spiritually, JESUS did that all the time with parables and examples to make HIS truths come alive and more easily understood by HIS disciples, and even to hide truths from those who didn’t really want to understand! “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” You did a wonderful job of illustrating an important truth!
Thank you, Jaime!
Thank you, nj!
I love it when He speaks to us through our every day life, too!
Mary Geisen says
I identify with the duck in the puddle based on being middle-aged. Our culture points to retirement and slowing down when we reach a certain age. But for me, I feel like New Life is just beginning.
I pray I carry this attitude with me and for others to feel the same way.
Your comment reminds me of something Jill Briscoe once said, after she had told God she was getting older and tired and wanted to step back. He asked who would carry her cross. He reminded her that it was hers to carry – all the way home!
We are never done until we’re home, so you have a LOT left to do! I pray you carry that wonderful attitude always!
Cassady Schulte says
I LOVE this! My puddle recently got too small, and I sensed the Lord nudging me to move, so I applied for a new job in a completely different field than I’ve ever been in before (business, and hopefully some writing on the side!). I felt a little bit of shame though, because I’ve only been at my current job for about a year and it’s not an increase in salary and all of the other reasons why I could just stay in this drying-up puddle. This encouraged me that when God says “go”, we are to say “yes!” Thank you 🙂
Good for you! God’s ways seldom look ‘right’ to the world. It’s a brave thing to go ahead and do it anyway! But doesn’t it make life thrilling?
Blessings on your new journey!
Ellen Cole says
What a wonderful metaphor you’ve used here! I’ve always totally been the duck in a puddle, fearing change more than current deteriorating circumstances. I love that you’ve identified God’s purpose for these puddles as only places we should stop for a time!
Thank you, Ellen. I am right there with you, being one of those ducks! It was a reminder I desperately needed!
Thank you for this delightful yet profound story! Reading this has left me with an image of a duck that I will not forget, and one that I will likely share with others. I can’t wait to read more of what God has placed on your heart.
Thank you for the encouragement, Laurisha!
I think God knew I would need to remember this lesson again and again, and with all the ducks we have around here I’ll have no excuse!
I liked the post. It reminds me of our comfort zones we don’t want to leave. Yet God has something better for us. If we would just surrender it to Him. Thank you 🙂
Thank you, Thea!
Thank you Jaime for your post today – I feel like a puddle duck today – firstly because it rains so much here where I live – secondly because I have been housebound with the flu since last Thursday – so, with the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit, I am summoning up all of the strength that I can to get to the lake (Mornings with Her group at our church) – waddle waddle waddle – blessings to all xo
Oh dear! I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with that awful flu! Praying it passes quickly so you can really fly! 😉
But the lake sounds lovely! Everything here is frozen so I won’t be able to enjoy the lake for a few months yet!
Rosemarie (Hope) K. says
I see evidence of Jesus speaking through this beautiful message you have delivered to my inbox this morning Jaime. Your words of encouragement to know there is MUCH MORE to experience if we just step out of our comfort zones – “walking out of the puddles.” – The Beauty, The Wonder, The AWE that can be revealed. My husband recently died after over 20 plus years of marriage, and I have to say Lord Jesus is doing something NEW now (even though it’s scary) yet I have a choice to either “stay in the puddle” – stuck in the grieve or go out, discover. and swim in the bigger lakes – Finding the MUCH MORE , finding something Beautiful out of the Ashes. Thank you – God Bless!
Thank you for sharing that, Rosemarie.
I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. But I am blessed by seeing the strength God has given you to face new and scary things. He is clearly not done with His plans for you, and you can trust Him through all of it! May your future be full of awe and wonder!
Thank you Jaime for this. I feel like I’ve been in my mucky puddle for a long time but it has been fruitful – knowing more of God and serving. I am drawn to fostering and adoption outside of my puddle but would like a husband to do this with. It looks like an impossible situation. I’m hoping the puddle may get smaller… Thank you.
Becky Keife says
Lou, I love that God has given you a heart for children who need a loving family. And I’m thankful that God is an expert in making a way through impossible situations. Praying that He will lead you, provide for you, and delight you in unexpected ways as you wait in trust for Him to ask you to fly. So glad you’re here.
Oh than you so much Becky for commenting – you have encouraged me. Yes, he keeps giving me a heart for them more and more, whatever that means. Thank you!
Lou, it is wonderful to see the heart God has given you! And it’s wonderful to know that God LOVES impossible situations! It makes me think He is setting you up to do some wonderful things in your life!
Praising Him for all the impossible things He will do with your future!
Oh I hope so! Thank you Becky.
Becky Keife says
Jaime, I love when God speaks eternal, big-picture truths in earthly, small-moment ways. This duck in a puddle picture is priceless. And I love the fact that God doesn’t give us puddles of pause on our journey because He can’t give us more, He gives us puddles out of His wisdom and love for what we need in the present. And then He asks us to trust Him when He says it’s time to get up and fly.
Trusting Him with you today! Thanks so much for sharing on (in)courage.
Thank you, Becky.
Today has been a delightful surprise – I wrote something in hopes of encouraging others, only to find the people commenting on it are ten times more encouraging!
Thank you for the opportunity to share what God’s been teaching me.
Such truth this afternoon, Jaime. Beautiful writing. — I love your line that God knows (we) can’t handle the beginning from the end. Such an insightful phrase. — So often we choose the familiar (and comfortable) over the new (and scary). Good reminder to be open to the whole of the journey. 🙂
Thank you, Brenda!
I have such respect for you from your posts on Compel, I take your encouragement to heart!
My dear friend,
Your words spoke to me today, as they always do. Your talent, heart, eloquence, and passion meld together to make such viaible imagery in our minds and our hearts. I will make the best of the puddle I am in, and I purpose to be ready for flight when He says, “It’s time!” Love you my sister. ❤
Thank you! Love you, too, my sister!
Pearl Allard says
Jaime, I wondered where you were going with this and then, “But they were never meant to stay in the puddles. They were meant for bigger waters, full of life.” Wow. Thank you for making me alert to (and not so timid) for wherever is God’s next destination on my earthly itinerary. This especially hits me because, apparently, I’m wired to be cautious. I didn’t walk until I was eighteen months — all because I was afraid to fall. (Yeah, about that odd duck…) Thank you for helping me remember that when it’s time to move on it’s because God has something good to give. In fact, I was just thinking the other day, God doesn’t ask us to give up our life so much as He invites us to live it. Thanks again, Jaime!
Haha! Thanks for sticking with this ‘odd duck’ to the end!
I love your words, that God doesn’t ask us to give up our life as much as live it! My feelings exactly!
Rebecca Jones says
Funny story reminds me of my dog who got a new bed but she prefers her puppy one, way to small. I put her in her new one and find her in the old. She’s making a gradual transition, guess I’m the same in some ways.
Haha! Yes, I imagine God must try moving us to our bigger space many times, only to find us back in our old ways again. That’s a great reminder.
Beth Williams says
I thought I was out of the mire. God did take me out for a short while & now has me back in it again. My dad had many health & dementia issues for over 3 years. Tough not knowing when phone would ring & be going to hospital or doctors office. He passed on to glory this past March. God allowed me 7 months out of the stinky puddle only to put me back in it again. I know He knows best. My father-in-law (almost 90) has stage III bladder cancer. He’s doing alright for now, but his wife has a bad cold & other health issues. I guess I’m destined to stay here for a while 7 help out again. Some day I will be completely out of my puddle.
Oh Beth, I’m so sorry for the trials you have been going through! I can only imagine what our God is building you up to become through all of this, because you are trusting Him. I am praying for you as you walk through this very hard season.
Nancy Ruegg says
I’m not just an odd duck–I’m an OLD duck (69)! And I have to admit to thinking a puddle is just fine for me at this stage in my life. Most people are younger than I am and probably consider me out-of-touch anyway. But your post has me sitting up a little bit straighter because “He has so much more for us than we can possibly imagine.” No age-qualifier was included in that scripture; age is really irrelevant. So, Lord, if there’s still another beautiful lake or river ahead, PLEASE don’t allow me to miss it! (And thank you, Jaime, for your encouragement.)