Now, I would do the camping thing, but unless it was around a lovely lake that is not heavily populated, I would just as soon not go camping. And I love to see God’s handiwork when I am out in the woods. Wild flowers and their pungent smells and the bonus of seeing wildlife thoroughly make my day. For instance, I saw my first Sandhill cranes this year as they nested in or near a neighbor’s field – noisy guys and fun to observe. I hear they are making a comeback and can now be hunted in some areas of Minnesota-not that I would do that!
Every now and again Elsa (my Schnauzer) and I get to see something that she thinks would make great chase material. But, if the truth be told, she tends to be a bit schizoid and has the natural tendency to chase, although she is scared to bits of any loud noises or sudden moves. Skittles would have been a more accurate description of her personality, but I wanted her to have a good German name since she is a good German dog.
One morning Elsa and I headed out for our walk through our property to a snowmobile trail we use every day. We went up the east side of our ravine and she startled a bit when she heard something in the brush. I didn’t think anything of it, as this is common with her. As we neared a large balsam tree, she jumped, landing into my legs. As I glanced back, I saw a small dark thing chasing us. I yipped and ran ahead, then slowed to look back again to see just what was on our heels. Here was a grouse, all fluffed up and out, with her wings making her look as big as she could as she ran after us. She did finally quit and fly off, but I thought, “That crazy bird – if my Elsa weren’t so afraid, she could have taken that grouse down in a heartbeat. (I do walk her on a leash, however, so that she can’t go running off.) The scenario kept playing over and over in my mind and I would laugh out loud every time I would think about the event that had just taken place.
Later that week, I was visiting with a retired DNR guy who stopped in at the radio station and I told him about our experience. He said to me that the grouse would risk her own life for those chicks she was guarding! I thought that must be true because she is pretty small and my little girl being a standard was more than big enough to rip her to smithereens! The grouse obviously would do anything to distract whatever was threatening her brood. (I wish I could have seen those cute little chicks, but not at the expense of having a mad grouse jumping at me!)
In the book of John, we read a verse from Chapter 15:13 that lets us know just how prized we are to Jesus. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” As I ponder this verse and then look at that familiar John 3:16 that says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” I can see the expanse of the Father’s love for us, His children. I think that most of us as parents would naturally lay down our lives for our children. If they were in danger, we would do what we could to save them, not even thinking about the risk we could be taking. In a tiny little snippet of real life, I saw that picture so clearly illustrated with momma grouse.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vmY2ztb5xc]
You might not feel worthy of the Father’s sacrifice, as it was for me at one time, but there will come a time when I trust you will. As we receive the greatest gift ever given, by understanding the greatest sacrifice that was ever made, I believe we should be overwhelmed by the Father’s love that was poured out just for us. The Father gave His Son for you and for me and there is no greater response than to humbly receive it, trusting the rest of our lives into His care!