Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fear Not !

Above is a photo of the mother deer who had the broken leg.

I was never able to get close enough to her to see exactly what the damage was, until a couple of days ago when she was munching close to my back patio. I was able to get this photo, that shows where her left front ankle was broken.

It has healed but has a thickened area over the ankle . The mother deer is obviously no longer in pain but she walks with her hoof turned outward. Because she is walking on her side of her foot it makes her leg shorter and so she walks with a limp, but she has been seen leaping over fences. She has learned to cope with her handicap but I think it must often pain her to step on something sharp.

When we were first aware she had been hurt we felt so sorry for her and we feared for the safety of her little fawns that wandered around alone and vulnerable.

How I would have loved the mother deer to come to us ... to let us help her.

We could have given her the care she needed . We could have set her bones and taken care of her and her fawns during the healing process. If she had only come to us, she would now be walking on a perfectly sound leg.

But she is a wild thing and because she did not trust us we could not help her. But how we wished we could somehow have convinced her of our good intentions.

Looking at her the day I took the above photo, I thought..... is that how God feels?

Does He look at us and wish we would just come to Him with the brokenness of our lives ... our wounded hearts, troubled minds , our suffering , painful bodies?

If we would not be afraid .... if we would just trust Him, would He not work to put everything right again and comfort and strengthen us during the healing process ?

I think of His words that reveal His heart intentions toward man:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11)

I hear His voice calling out to those who are tired and hurt and burdened:
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt.11:28)

And yet how often can God do nothing but stand by with an aching heart, watching people suffer needlessly and alone.
"How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Matt. 23:37)

It was not that we were totally unfamiliar to the mother deer when she met with the accident . She would calmly munch on my freshly blooming flowers with me standing just a few feet away. She had no reason to believe that I would hurt her... but she would not allow me to come closer than her designated several feet distance or she would just walk away.

Is man not often guilty of having the same attitude toward God? He enjoys what belongs to God and may even acknowlege that God is the creator of all things.....but he keeps God at a distance.
Even people who call themselves Christians keep a "personal comfort distance" between themselves and God. They allow God in some areas of their life but not others.

The mother deer eventually healed and she is walking again but she is handicapped. Man too finds ways of dealing with his brokenness and pain and often he heals ... but for the rest of his life he is handicapped... limping.... constantly reminded he is no longer whole.
And yet he could have been perfectly made whole, if only he would have trusted God !

If only he would listen to His healing Words.

Only God has the answers for our needs: only God can heal a broken heart, only God can forgive and make us whole again, only God can turn suffering and sorrow into joy !
Only God can take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it into a blessing.

Why do we not trust Him? are we 'wild things' ? afraid ?

Do a concordance search some time on the words "fear not" and see how many times God says those words , or how often the words are spoken by someone speaking for God.

Rather than being like the mother deer and hide in our pain, let us rather be like the mother's fawn who so trustingly walked up to me and put her nose into my hand. Would I ever violate that trust ? Never !

So then how much more would our Heavenly Father never violate the trust that anyone places in His hand.

Our Father - so great, so compassionate, so tender , so worthy of our praise ! Let us trust him 'in all our ways' setting aside our fear and our own understandings - and encourage others, by our example, to do the same !!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones."


Demara said...

I love putting my nose into God's hand! *smile*

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Oh Julie! What a beautiful lesson. It is also a reminder to me that when I see people who "limp" (handle life awkwardly or hurtfully) to see past the limp, and remember that they are injured people, who will never be mended fully without love and grace from God and those who are called by His name.

Your illustration will serve me well to remind me that when I am limping (trying to make do awkwardly) to RUN in prayer to Him.

Thank you Sweetie.

Hugs as always.


James Janzen said...

I knew where this one was going after reading the first sentence. It is a good reminder non the less. The transformation from knowing and doing is often very difficult isn't it!? We KNOW God has only the best in mind for us yet we too seem to become uncomfortable if God get too close. My pastor used to ask the question," do you wish you were closer to God than you are?" He says it's a redundant question. If you really wanted to be closer to God than you would be. Food for thought.

Vicki said...

Julie, this is another great reminder to me (and I've had a lot this past week!) to quit allowing the anxieties to gain a foothold. It keeps trying to take over, and is becoming more intense as this move draws closer and more and more things remain undone. I've just got to allow God to guide me and stick with the details on my check's as simple as that (but I keep making it so hard!). Fear and anxiety are not on that check list!

Lovella said...

Julie, this is just a beautiful post. I so want to be the fawn. . .just a trusting child of my Heavenly Father. Oh .. to trust Him more.

Thank you for your excellent contribution to my morning post.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful lesson so simply and beautifully illustrated. I especially needed a little reminder not to be such a gimp. Thanks!
Love, Grace

Unknown said...

Oh Julie, your writing (both the post from 6/18/07 and this one) blessed me so much today!! Yesterday I was bike riding along the D & R Canal in NJ when I saw a deer in the canal. It was standing very still near the edge with the water up to its neck. I got off my bike and looked at it, and it looked back at me barely moving. It was an intense moment as though it was trying to speak to me. I sensed that something was wrong and called the Park Authority and they sent an officer out. By the time he arrived, the deer was on the far side of the canal, with it's head resting on a rock, and most of its body still in the water- it looked exhausted like it didn't have the strength to pull itself onto the steep bank. It was obviously sick or injured. The officer was only able to get so close and only so much he could do. Hoping and praying she will be able to recover, and that similarly I will learn to trust God, allowing him to come close enough to bring healing in my own life!

God Bless,