I am not sure where my fascination with Animal Planet has come from, but it seems like whenever I am relaxing in my nice comfy bed channel surfing my television, quite often I find myself glued into some animal documentary on channel 34. Who knows, maybe that had something to do with the infamous "possum dream" and why God seems to reveal His love to me through animals that normally would have no significance to me otherwise. I have asked God for more dreams...but it has been silent in my world of dreaming....but every night I find myself still excited that just maybe....just maybe He will speak to me again.
Anyhow, I recently was channel surfing while waiting for Rusty to get home from work and I came to a zebra documentary on Animal Planet. Glued in intently....I watched this Hyena on the prowl looking to find something for lunch. He came across a herd of Zebras...and antagonized them a bit....but he knew he was no match for a Zebra. One Swift quick would be enough to knock him unconscious. But out of the corner of his eye, he noticed far off in the distance was a straggler. This zebra was wounded with a limp leg. I don't know if it was broke or not, but he put hardly any weight on it. But, he was having a hard time keeping up with the rest of the herd and was falling behind. This hyena saw an opportunity for lunch! So, he makes his way over to this Zebra and starts nipping at it, antagonizing it trying to get it down. This "wounded zebra" still was pretty powerful and the hyena knew he would not be able to take it down alone. So he made a call for the other hyenas. This "wounded zebra" stood NO chance against 4 or 5 hyenas. There was no way for him to overcome them. His fate was sealed. The pack of hyenas start luring and bullying this defenseless zebra farther and farther away from the herd of Zebras. He was going to be their lunch. BUT! Then, when all hope was lost, off in the distance, in the herd of Zebras stood 2 zebras watching and they saw what was happening. They both come CHARGING after these hyenas in the "wounded zebras" defense. The mean hyena's take the hint that this wounded zebra has back up.....and they flee!
Out of nowhere I had this heavy feeling hit me....I couldn't help but see this "wounded zebra" as SO many "wounded Christians". Beautiful followers of Christ who hold so much potential, but at some point in their walk, they were wounded, and it has affected their walk making it difficult to keep up with other believers. Falling farther and farther behind. And like the hyena, the enemy of God comes lurking to make lunch out of the "wounded"....because he knows he stands no chance against a fully armored Christian.
One thing I noticed during all this, was the 2 zebras that came to the "wounded zebras" defense. They were surrounded by thousands of other zebras. Some were witnessing what was happening to the the wounded and others were oblivious. I am sure some of them watched mortified, thinking "awwww poor guy" or "I can't believe this happening, somebody do something!" The body of Christ at times I think, sits by and feels horrible for the wounded. But just sitting by feeling bad, but not charging the hyenas does the wounded no good. It doesn't bring them back safely to the herd. It won't save their life! That wounded zebra is only alive because of the 2 that acted and charged the enemy who was attacking a part of their herd. This has made me wonder about myself. I know my heart says to charge and defend the wounded. I can be bold and preach this til I am blue in the face. But too many times, I find myself thinking "It's too risky"...or maybe "I should probably just mind my own business". BUT...then the nasty side of me thinks..."That zebra wounded itself out of its own ignorance and arrogant thinking. It's the dumb zebras fault for breaking its own leg" Ugh...I know I am pitiful, but I am just being honest for those who may be thinking I write this out of a "higher than thou" "bible thumping" attitude. There are people in the body who are only wounded out of their own doing and then expect others to fight their battles for them. When it comes to dealing with the consequences of what they have done or spewed....and nobody comes to their defense.....they pout that they are an outcast and the church has failed them! I am sure I am the ONLY heathen who lets their mind take this route right? Why should I come to a wounded zebras defense over and over and over again.....when it keeps breaking its leg and throwing itself in a pack of hyenas?
Shame on me right? I feel this way at times. But them 2 zebras in this documentary gave no thought to whether or not the wounded deserved it. It gave no thought to its own life, but CHARGED the enemy full force. I even saw the defensive zebras give the wounded zebra a love tap on the neck (almost like a hug) to let him know they were their and had his back....and to keep "truckin" along. I have to ask God to forgive me for not showing mercy and compassion to the wounded like I should. Deserving or not.
A different analogy, so often we drive by those who hold a sign at the end of street corner....saying they are homeless and need help with money, food, etc.......Be honest.....what is the first thing you think? What is the first thing that comes to your mind that keeps you from stopping to give them whats in your wallet? Be honest......"They will just spend it on booze"? "They are lying"? "You just don't know if they REALLY need or deserve it"?
The bible says to give and to give generously....not just to the nice family whose house burned down losing everything they own. Not just to the sweet family who lost their house in a tornado....It says to give to ANY and ALL who are in need....those who are in need and those who DON'T deserve it. Jesus said "what reward is their in loving only those who love you back". So my little "why help the zebra who breaks it own leg continually" theory.....God pretty much makes it clear.
The moral point of the story....Be bold! Help the wounded and defenseless. Deserving or not. The church has got to stop preaching forgiveness and compassion and start acting on it. We have sooooo many hurting and wounded in the body....we have to have a healthy body (zebra herd) to be effective for the kingdom of God. Leave the thousand and go save that one "wounded zebra"!!!!