Knocked Down Again
by Stephanie Olson, Co-founder Set Me Free Ministries
Have you ever felt kicked when you were already down? I know I have. Maybe you’re going through a difficult time, and you turn to the Lord and say, “I don’t think I can handle one more thing, God!” And then the loving hand of God seems to reach out and … what!? Things get just a little worse.
As I was praying about a few things the other day, I ran across an interesting fact about giraffes. Yes, that’s right–giraffes. When a giraffe give births, she does it standing up, allowing the baby giraffe to endure a fall up to 6 feet. Welcome to the world, baby giraffe!
Then, if that’s not enough of a welcome, the baby giraffe struggles to get on his feet for the first time and is immediately knocked down by Mommy. Ouch. This happens several times–baby giraffe tries to get up, Mommy giraffe gives a swift kick to the baby, baby falls down, and so it goes. It goes on and on until the baby successfully gets up and remains standing. Geez. Thanks, Mom.
But when I learned why this happens, I thought, Wow, what a lesson! Mama giraffe understands something the baby doesn’t. There are lions that are waiting to dine on the lazy, unsuspecting, or weak giraffe. Loving Mom giraffe knows that if she doesn’t prepare her baby, he will not survive.
Well, certainly we see this analogy clearly even as human parents. Our job as parents is to raise children to become strong and prepared adults. Sometimes that means not coddling our children to avoid seeing them suffer (in the short term) but instead giving them a swift kick (so to speak) to lovingly help them grow up.
And then I think about our relationship with God. There are times when it seems like we are desperately trying to make it through a day, through a tough time, through a storm and instead of things getting better, the storm just increases. And we say, “Jesus, where are you?”
But, we are told in James 1:2-4, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
You see, when we are tested, it serves a purpose. We don’t do it alone, because God never leaves our side. But He sees a big picture that we aren’t always able to see. 1 Peter 5:8 makes it so clear. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” That’s why Ephesians 6:11 tells us to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Just like that baby giraffe, if we can’t stand up against the devil’s schemes, we won’t make it. And just like that mommy giraffe, Jesus knows that He needs to help us become strong, or we won’t be able to stand.
So, although like our friend the baby giraffe, we may not feel loved at the moment we’re falling down and then kicked, we can know we are loved. We can know we are loved and covered by Christ, because Jesus says, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
Thank you, God, for loving me enough to give me a swift kick on occasion.