Sometimes the Lord gives us practical object lessons to show an element of truth. This past Sunday the youth pastor at the church we attend, Seth Buckley, shared one such story. I’d like to pass it on to you.
On a family walk in some deep woods near their home in South Carolina, Seth’s two sons asked to take a different trail. Because the two trails ran alongside one another, eventually merging, he agreed and the family split into two groups. Seth and his wife walked on for some time, enjoying the time alone together and the beauty around them. But suddenly, Seth heard a scream. It wasn’t the scream of the boys playing or even someone possibly hurt. It was a scream of pure terror. The barks of wild dogs accompanied it.
Seth took off sprinting through the woods. The distance between the two trails was not great, but the brush was thick. He tried desperately to push branches out of the way as he ran, but he found himself wildly careening into brambles, limbs, and stumps as he ran madly towards the screams of his sons. When he got to the clearing, he saw both of his boys lying in the dirt. The older son had pulled himself on top of the younger. A few wild dogs advanced toward the pair. Seth burst out from the woods like a man possessed. He hurled himself in the direction of the dogs, and screamed like a wild man.
Amazingly, the dogs retreated and ran back into the woods. He helped the boys up and they ran the rest of the trail. It was only when they were clearly out of danger it became apparent that Seth was hurt. He had a couple of deep gashes that were bleeding and the rest of his arms, chest, and legs were scraped and stuck with burs. As his wife attempted to temporarily stop the bleeding, Seth’s younger son asked him, “Does it hurt real bad?”
As Seth tried to explain that the pain didn’t really matter when he compared it to having his boys safe, he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit come on him. He realized what a clear illustration the Father had just given of His own love. He began to tell his sons that when he heard them scream, he didn’t stop to think about anything. He didn’t consider retracing the trail, which would have been safer and without obstacles. He just ran to save his boys. In the same way, Christ didn’t consider Himself when He came for us, when He died on the cross for us. We were the helpless boys, lying face down in the dirt, desperately in need of a Savior. And Christ—because of His deep, unyielding, unmovable love towards us—was the Father, running at full speed, the only thing on His mind,
“I’ve got to save My kids.”