I recently watched a video shot by someone on Safari in Africa. A water buffalo was being chased by a pride of lions. He was to be their main entrée. But the water buffalo was resilient and determined to stay out of the food chain for the day. He ran straight for the watering hole. Great thinking on the buffalo’s behalf as cats don’t like water. And it worked; until a giant crocodile sprang up out of the murky depths snapping at his hind quarters with the intent of making him into a delicious snack. The buffalo didn’t give up and was just as diligent in trying to escape as the croc was in taking him down. He swam faster and fought harder until he reached the shore where the pride watched, licking their chops. He was faced with the tough decision – do I die by the pride or by the croc?
Taking his chances, the buffalo stepped out of the water and the annoying croc nipping at his behind, into his certain doom on the shore. The pride was crouched and ready to lunge when…. drum roll please…enter a herd of antler and tusk throwing water buffalos to save the day! The herd moved in a group, in large numbers, aggressively and headed swiftly into the pride scattering them and scaring them away! The herd then welcomed the brave little buffalo back into the safety of their community and went off for a celebratory graze.
The scene reminded me of my relationship to the church – my protective herd! When the enemy is approaching me at every angle, all I must do is call on the church and they will swoop in for the rescue. There’s not much antler throwing aggression but there is consistent prayer, loving encouragement, comforting casseroles, generous donations and intercession for me in ways I didn’t even know I needed. Much like the water buffalo – they just show up when I least expect it.
Ironically, the video example came to life for me recently when a stressful day presented itself. Feeling unequipped to handle all the pressure of the day, I called on a few from my herd to hold me up in prayer, pull me to safety from the water – scatter the pride from the shore. And I felt their intercession for me all day!
I’m thankful for God’s spirit that equips me to handle the pressures of each day and for his people (my herd) that encourages me along the way.
Who is your herd? Your community? Family? A small group of friends? Who are those special people in your life that have come to your rescue? What group have you assisted in the rescue of a fellow friend?
I’ve noted great things in our community, recently. A family member had a crisis, and I was amazed at the outpouring of support from a small group of individuals who swooped in to help at a moment’s notice. Yesterday, I saw a sign advertising a fundraiser to help a local cancer victim. Herds, doing what is necessary - providing strength when one is weak.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place (or a lion and a crocodile, as in the buffalo’s case), who will you call upon to get you to safety? What herd can count on you to jump in when needed?
Let us strive to be grateful for the impact others have in our lives. Let us be mindful of the ways we can serve the herd.