28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Ro8:28
I came across a story (an allegory) recently which spoke volumes to me as led by the Holy Spirit and I decided to paraphrase it in my own words and convey what the Holy Spirit birth in me. It is a story about a pregnant deer. You may have heard it before. If you have, please bear with me as I tell it my own way.
A heavily pregnant deer feels labour pangs and immediate searches for a safe haven to give birth. She wanders to a place where there is a flowing river. It looks peaceful- an ideal labour ward.
However, before settling down, the sky suddenly changes and lightning strikes, igniting a forest fire that begins to rage and advance ferociously, like the wildfires in California that recently killed over 70 people.
The deer looks left, and there was a horrible hunter with his bow and arrow pointing towards her, thinking he had found a game. She could not believe her eyes. She then turns right and there is a hungry lion, leaking its lips and genteelly advancing.
What would she do, jump into the flowing river and drown, fall prey to the horrible hunter or become meat for the hungry lion?
She was cornered on all fronts-the flowing river in front, the forest fire around, the horrible hunter on the left and the menacing hungry lion on the right.
Why are all these calamities happening all at once and to her and at that time when she is about to bring her precious baby into the world?
Is God against her?
What would she do?
How would it pan out?
Well, the deer thought, that all the circumstances threatening her, emanating, developing before her, were all out of her control. So she focuses on one thing in her control: giving birth.
Then suddenly, lightning strikes, sending darkness and blindness to the eyes of the horrible hunter, causing him to lose focus, and as he let go his arrow, he misses his target (the deer), but hits the hungry lion, and striking it dead.
Next, the sky changes, darkening and the heaven opens, heralding a heavy downpour that quenches the ferocious forest fire that was advancing, stopping it in its track.
Surprisingly, just as all hell broke loose, there is a great calm. The lion lies dead, the horrible hunter is blind, groping in the dark, paralysed and the fury of the forest fire is arrested and imprisoned.
The water of the deer bursts and she finds a safe place to bring her baby into the world.
How glorious, how marvelous, how wonderful! What a joyful end to the diabolical foreboding!
This scenario that greeted the heavily pregnant deer could be replayed to some degree in each of our lives from time to time. How you handle the situation will determine the outcome?
What lessons can we learn from this story?
The deer was confronted by adversities on all fronts. She did not orchestrate them. She had no control over them. If she had focused on any one of them, it would have been enough to give her a heart attack and “kill her many times” before the danger she faced killed her. Yes, she would have died many times before her time.
She was wise to focus on the one thing within her control: giving birth.
Worry is the interest we pay before troubles come. Why pay interest on trouble?
We are enjoined in the scriptures “Do not worry about anything. Pray about everything.” (Phil 4:6)
All things work together for good to those who love God. (Ro8:28)
All things are not good. But all things work together for good to those who love God. Just leave those things you cannot help, in the hands of God and see what the result will be in the end.
The Psalmist said, ‘I will lift up my eyes unto the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow my feet to slip. He that keeps me does not sleep. He that keeps me neither slumbers not sleep. The Lord is My keeper. He is my protection on my right hand. He will watch over my soul. He will watch over my going out and my coming in from this time forth and forever. “
So yours is to lift up your head to Your Maker, Owner and Lover of your soul. He is your keeper and He is wide awake and He cares. He is like a doctor on call 24/7.
Yours is to trust, that you will not go under for going over.
Yours is trust that you will not rust or see decay. His word says,” You will not allow your holy one to see decay.” Say what He says.
Yours is to keep your focus on your purpose, your calling and Jesus.
Yours is to look beyond the natural and see the joy ahead and endure your cross like Jesus did and sat down at the right hand of His Father. He saw you and I and was able to go the extra mile and finished the deal for us; finished the course for us.
You too can. You are not alone. Remember, when He finished praying in the Garden, “Not My will be done but Your will be done.” Soon, an angel came to strengthen Him. Angels are on assignment for you too. Is it not written, “He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone?”(Os91:10-11) It is written, “They are ministering spirits called to minister to those who are heirs of salvation.” (Heb2:14)l
Know beyond any shadow of a doubt that God is working everything together for your good regardless of what is happening around you or to you.
Cast not away your confidence. (Heb10:35)
Just like the ingredients for baking a cake are not all delicious, so are the individual circumstances of your life not all appealing, but when God finishes mixing them together, out will come a “sumptuous divine cake” that will glorify Him.
As you focus on Him, He will fight for you like He turned the tables for the deer in our story. Yes, He will fight for you like He did for the Israeli test and you will hold your peace. (Ex 14) Your enemies will fight against themselves like the hunter’s arrow shot the hungry lion dead and the heavy downpour quenched the ferocious forest fire.
God is not dead, despite the tribulations that come your way. Often they have come to give you a mammoth testimony.
“The bigger the trial, the bigger the triumph”
“The bigger the test, the bigger the testimony”
“The bigger the battle, the bigger the breakthrough”
They may have come to take you to another level in life; a higher level at that. Do not bemoan them but fix your eyes on Jesus. See them as partners for progress.
Recall His goodness, His grace, His love and compassion. Thank Him for His nearness and protection and faithfulness.
You can also see the negatives issues orchestrated around you as distractions. Refuse to focus on them. Rather, look at the things that are unseen. Remind yourself that the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal. Your light afflictions are just for the time being, fleeting, temporary, for a moment, and they are working a far more exceeding weight of eternal glory for you. 2COR4:16-18
Say to yourself, “There hath no temptation taken me but such as is common to man. But God is faithful, Who will also with the temptation and the distraction make a way of escape, that I will be able to bear.” (1Cor0:13)
Say to yourself, “If God is for me, who can be against me?” Ro8:31 Say to yourself, “shall tribulation separate me from the love of God? No! Shall distress? Shall persecution? Shall famine or nakedness or peril or sword? NO! A thousand times no. Ro8:33
I am fully persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things threatening nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, shall be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Ro8:37-39) Christ in me my hope of glory. Yes, even against hope, I will believe in the God of Hope. (Ro4)
Say to yourself, “I may be hard-Pressed but I will not be crushed. I may be perplexed but I will not be in despair. I may be knocked down but I am not knocked out or destroyed. (2Cor.4:7-9)
God is working everything together now for my good. Great is His love. His steadfast love never ceases. They are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. (Lam3:23)
Say to yourself, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies and my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy abide with me all the days of my life.
You said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you until the end of the age.” I believe You, Lord. (Matt. 28:20)
You said,” God is my refuge and my ever-present help. Therefore though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, I shall not be moved. Let the sea roar, be agitated, convulsed, I will be still and know that my Lord, He is God.” (Ps48:1-3) He will burn the chariots of my enemies in His fire. A fire will go before Him to burn up all His enemies.
Say to yourself, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust. Surely, He will save me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. His faithfulness shall be my shield and buckler and under His wings will I take refuge. I will not be afraid of the terror by night or the arrow that flies by day or the destruction that lays waste at mid-day. A thousand may fall at my side, ten thousand at my right hand, but the evil will not come near my dwelling. Only with my eyes will I see the reward of the wicked.”
I shall not lose my focus! I am pregnant and will not risk miscarriage. This baby will be born full term. This baby will not be aborted. He said “There shall be no miscarriage in your house-none will cast her young before her time.” (Deut28)
Say to yourself, “It is written, ‘Fear not. When you go through the waters, you will not drown. When you go through the fire, you will not burn.” This is my confidence. My God is good all the time. He said fear not. Be not dismayed. I am your God. I will help you. I will uphold you will with my victorious right hand of rightness and justice. He said,” Shall a mother forget her sucking babe? Even if she does, I will not forget you. I have engraved you on the palm of my hands. You are mine.”
“Shall I bring to the time of birth and shut the womb? Shall I cause to bring forth and stop delivery?”
And when you extol the goodness, faithfulness, power and sovereignty of God at such times, He will summon His power and show you His strength as He had done before. He will part the heavens and send lightning to strike any horrible hunter pointing his arrow at you when you are about to give birth to your vision. He will shoot His arrow and deaden the lion that is crouching and growling, seeing you and your baby to come, as Christmas-come-early.
Yes, He will command the rain to quench any ferocious fires raging around you. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, no flames will hurt you. Even if you go through fires, you will come forth like gold. Any fires you go through will only refine you to get better and not bitter.
Your baby will be born, safe and sound and there shall be joy unspeakable, merriment, thanksgiving, and praise to your God.
So, my friend, regardless of your circumstances, begin bless the Lord.
Say, I will bless the Lord at all times. His praises shall continually be in my mouth. I will make my boast in Him. O taste and see, the Lord is good. Weeping may endure in the night but joy comes in the morning.
The darker the night, the nearer the day
My dawn is on the horizon.
Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not His benefits: forgiveness of sin, healing of all my diseases, deliverance from destruction, crowning with love and compassion, the satisfaction of my mouth with good things, renewal of my youth like the Eagle. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.