An Owl’s Full-Circle Vision

Read: Psalm 102:1-18

I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins . . . like bird alone on a roof. (vv. 6-7 NIV)

An owl is a haunting image with its piercing eyes, statuesque stillness, and mournful sounds. Its nocturnal nature adds to the mystery. You may find it hard to believe, but while I was writing this devotional one evening, my daughter called for us to quickly come outside. She had spotted an owl on the roof of our house. I was mesmerized by God’s perfect timing. We sometimes hear owls but rarely see them. Given that my husband had passed away a few months before, my children and I felt especially privileged to share that experience.

Psalm 102 is the “prayer of an afflicted person” pouring out a lament, lying awake at night, comparing himself to an isolated owl. Something that owls can do is rotate their heads so that while their body is facing one way, their eyes look the opposite direction. Even through tears, the psalmist turned, so to speak, to say, “But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever.” He saw God’s past faithfulness: “your renown endures through all generations” (v. 12). While claiming God’s promises, he stated, “Let this be written for a future generation” (v. 18).

We have a history as well as a future. We acknowledge our present despair while looking forward to complete redemption, the “already and not yet” of salvation in Christ. We must adjust our spiritual eyes to full-circle vision. As the wise owl reminds us, by turning both our eyes and ears to God’s Word, we will become wiser as well. —Denise Vredevoogd

As you pray, ask God to help you see from his perspective.

About the Author

​​Denise Vredevoogd is a private piano teacher who lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and spending time in nature with her adult sons and daughters.