Max Lucado in his book, “In the Eye of the Storm,” tells the following story about Chippie the parakeet.

“Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said ‘hello’ when ‘ssssopp!’ Chippie got sucked in.

The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie — still alive, but stunned.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . She reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. 

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

 A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. ‘Well,’ she replied, ‘Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore — he just sits and stares.’

It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.”

Danny Minton

Danny Minton

There are days that we all feel like we too have been “sucked in, washed up, and blown over.” These are the days when you feel like just giving up and letting someone else handle all the issues and negative vibes that come the way of life. It’s those days that we feel like the life is being drained from us and we’re ready to pack it all up and walk away. We don’t feel like singing!

However, it’s on those days that we learn to grow as a person. When we can make it through the tough days with heads still held high and the desire to move on then we have shown the stamina it takes to take on anything the world has to throw our way. Sure, we may come out a little bruised and beaten down. We may at those times feel like it’s not worth it, feeling the pain of words spoken badly against us, but no one said that life was easy. With it comes responsibilities and decisions to be made, sometimes before the path is clear. It means being in the line of fire in the battles against Satan. It means facing the darts of discontent, disillusionment, and disappointments. Sometimes it even means standing alone, when everyone else thinks you’ve made the wrong choice.

Moses felt it as he led the Israelites through the wilderness. He often complained about the people and the people, in turn, rebelled against him, even his brother and sister. David in several of the Psalms cries out to God about what he was facing, wondering if God even cared. Isaiah cried out, “How long, oh Lord!”. Jesus, with a heavy heart, called his followers, “Oh, you of little faith!” Each of these and others faced the trials of leadership and succeeded as leaders because they didn’t let it hinder their ability to lead.

When we do feel that we’ve come to the “end of our rope,” we need to step back and take a breath. We need to remind ourselves of who we serve and why we serve our God. It may be we need to step away for a day or a week or maybe a month to refocus. I’m sure Moses felt a lift each time he went into the tent to spend time with God. David would turn to his music, playing and singing songs to his Lord. Isaiah was reminded of “the Branch” and given a glimpse of the future. Jesus would spend time in the desert or a garden. They all needed to take a break.

Next time you feel like Chippie, “Sucked in, washed up, and blown over,” remember that even though you may not feel like it at the time, you will be able to sing again.


At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:16-18

Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ

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