Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lessons from the Wild I (Devotion)

The Wildebeest (or Gnu) is one strange animal.  It's really an antelope with an ox-like head.  But two crazy traits  stand-out as lessons to us.  

One is that in the dry seasons millions of wildebeests will travel hundreds of miles in search of grass & water. They can cover 30 miles in a day.  They often travel with zebras and gazelles following rain clouds and lightening in the distance knowing that the clouds will lead them to the water & green pasture.

This reminds me of the Children of Israel in the desert who were depend on God leading them with a cloud by day and fire at night.  Nehemiah writes that it was out  of God's great compassion that God lead them providing manna and water for them.  And that God sustained them in such miraculous fashion that their clothes didn't even wear out in 40 years of camping out.

For a generation, they knew that when the cloud of God's glory would come down that they were to pitch camp.  His glory would come down over the Tabernacle tent.  Later, when the temple was built by Solomon, God's glory again came down in a cloud.  And one day our Messiah will come again on clouds.   

The other interesting thing about wildebeests is that the males will do something that no other antelope does.  When hunted, they will stay behind the group or even stumble to act hurt to get the attention of a hungry lion or laughing hyena.  While the male wildebeests fain injury, the rest of the group has time to run to safety.

Jesus said that there was no greater love than laying down your life for your friends.  When know that verse.  We like that verse.  What we may forget (or just don't like) is that verse is sandwiched in between these two Jesus' statements.  "This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you" and "You are my friends if you do what I command."

Jesus calls us  to live and love like Him.  That great love, that amazing love, that sacrificial love for others is what separates those of us who just say they know Jesus and those who experience a friendship with the Savior.

Two crazy wildebeests traits.  One is an act of dependence trusting Him for our daily bread.  Looking for Him to show up and guide us.  To dwell with us.  To come to us and to come for us.  The other is a call to a life of sacrifice, out of love to lay it all down.  To consider others more important than ourselves.

Who gnu?

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