Devotion – June 27 – “The Pregnant Deer”
I don’t know who wrote this story, but it’s a god one: In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grass field near a strong flowing river. This seems a safe place. Suddenly labor pains begin. At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above and lightning starts a forest fire.
She looks to her left and sees a hunter with his bow extended pointing at her. To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her. What can the pregnant deer do? She is in labor!
What will happen? Will the deer survive? Will she give birth to a fawn? Will the fawn survive? Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire? Will she perish to the hunters' arrow? Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry lion approaching her?
She is constrained by the fire on the one side and the flowing river on the other and boxed in by her natural predators. What does she do? She focuses on giving birth to a new life.
The sequence of events that follows are: Lightning strikes and blinds the hunter. He releases the arrow which zips past the deer and strikes the hungry lion. It starts to rain heavily and the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain. The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn.
This story which came from the internet reminds us that in our life, there are moments when we are confronted on all sides with difficult situations and we are left to make a choice on what to do. Sometimes the situations can overwhelm us. Maybe we can learn from the deer. The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby. The rest was not in her hands.
Ask yourself a couple of questions:
Where is your focus right now? If it is dwelling on what may or may not happen to you in the next six months or year, I challenge you to learn from the deer and focus on the present moment. Likewise, instead of dwelling on what you have no control over, focus on the things you can do now, and make that your priority.
Where is your faith and hope? In the midst of any storm, often times our initial instinct is to “do something.” The problem is that in truly difficult situations, we don’t have the power to change things. Rather than letting hopeless overwhelm you, use the moment as a challenge to trust God.
The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) wrote the beautiful prayer that we now call “The Serenity prayer.” Here it is:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
Take the time today and this coming week to reflect on:
Where is your focus (ask yourself if your focus is on the truly essential things)?
Where is your faith and hope found (If it isn’t on God, work towards surrendering your life and situations to Him, for only God is large enough to overcome some of the challenges we face)?
Memorize “The Serenity Prayer” and use it often.
~ God bless, Dan