by Danetta Kellar
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3, NIV
Tucked deep in the woods along the bend of a creek, I sat in the cozy cabin kitchen sipping my coffee.
Pulling a fleece blanket snugly around my shoulders, I leaned back and savored a rare feeling of deep rest.
The plaintive cry of an animal outside broke the morning stillness. Assuming it was a bird, I took another bite of my toast and enjoyed the background noise of nature.
Two hours later the strange cry pierced the air again. This time it was louder, more desperate, more frequent. My daughter and I leaped from our chairs, leaving an unfinished puzzle scattered across the table as we ran outside toward the sound. Some living thing needed help.
The yelps seemed to be coming from a low-lying thicket bordering the creek. Carefully edging our way nearer, we peered over the grasses. Lying nestled in the bracken was a baby deer. The cries I had mistaken for a bird’s were coming from this frightened creature, and she was all alone.
Wildlife officials instruct that when finding animals in their natural habitats, keep a safe distance away. This is especially true of a baby deer. Our scent could keep her from being rescued by her family.
Apparently, the baby had been too frightened to follow her mother across the fast-flowing, rocky stream.
From the kitchen window, we watched and waited, the persistent, pitiful entreaty of the deer breaking our hearts.
To make things worse, the sky grew dark and storm clouds burst open with vengeance.
Thunder boomed and lightening cracked. The rain fell so hard we could no longer see the deer.
The cries of the helpless beast grew frantic, audible even over the roaring rainstorm. We wanted to run out and comfort the little creature, but we obeyed the park ranger’s orders and remained a careful distance away, inside the house, keeping our special vigil. Tears burned our eyes as we waited and listened.
Suddenly, through the grey wall of water falling from the sky, we saw a flash of chestnut brown.
The mother deer had arrived in the pinnacle of the storm!
Without hesitation, the fawn stood to her feet and followed her mother across the now raging stream. Within seconds, they leapt up the other side to safety, disappearing into the wet green canvas of trees and undergrowth.
There are times in life when creation illustrates God’s truth to us.
Like that small deer, I have so often cried out to God because I was simply too fearful to follow Him where he led. Left behind, it would seem, I complained and resisted what seemed to me a risky path, or maybe one I simply did not want to take.
My God has let me wait in my choices, allowing them to sink in and teach me that to follow Him is the best and most wonderful place to be.
So much like that honey-colored fawn, I have shouted to God in the storm, my desperate pleas for help rising above the noise of the thunder, wondering if I would be lost in the surging waters. Wondering where He was.
My God has come to me at the very climax of the tempest, the moment I reached the end of my own strength, and led me to safety. As I followed Him to refuge He taught me I had more courage than I previously believed. He showed me that He had been with me all along, willing and present to help me.
God sent a deer and her mother to teach me that no matter what I see with my eyes, hear with my ears, feel with my body, He is my refuge, my strength, my ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, I will not fear.
Lord, thank you for being my very present help in trouble today. No matter what surrounds me, help me trust you and not fear. Amen.
Have you learned about God through nature? Share with me!