An Inspiring Reminder to Obey God,
Even When We Don't Understand
Today I'm going to tell you a story...
Once upon a time, I knew a boy named Cliff who had a faithful dog named Elmo. One day, Cliff and Elmo were hiking on a trail when they came across a powerful storm raging ahead of them. Despite the danger posed by the thunder and lightning flashing around them, Jacob kept on going until Cliff refused to move forward. Elmo barked and barked and dug his paws into the ground, refusing to go any further.
Realizing that this was no ordinary storm, Jacob looked up in awe at the strength of the storm and saw a figure standing in its center - he couldn't tell what it was, but he wondered if his dog saw something in that figure that he didn't. In that moment, Jacob knew that his faithful dog had seen SOMETHING that he could not and that God was warning him to turn back.
Isn't that a familiar story? Once upon a Biblical time ...
Then God helped Balaam see what was going on..."
Numbers 22:31, MSG
You remember the history ... there was a donkey own by a man named Balaam. He found himself in quite the predicament when his master commanded him to go somewhere he didn't want to go. Despite protests and attempts to avoid going, his master would not relent. Along the way, Balaam saw an angel blocking their path - which only the donkey could see.
Miraculously, the donkey spoke up and warned his master of the danger they were in. It's like he said, "Hold up a minute, bro! I know you said to go, but that angel looks pretty serious - you really might not want to go this way!" Needless to say, Balaam heeded the donkey's advice and all was well; a happy ending for both man and beast. After their narrow escape, Balaam was left scratching his head - wondering how a silly donkey knew something that he did not! ;0)
Fast forward more than a few years and ....
Taking Elmo's advice, Cliff quickly turned around and ran for cover just as the storm intensified. After the storm passed, Cliff thanked Elmo for his obedience and faithfulness in recognizing God's power and presence in the situation, even if Cliff himself had no idea what was happening - it was a lesson that would stay with him for the rest of his life.
See, Balaam had a mission - to go and curse the Israelites. He rode with determination on his donkey, alongside of Moabite soldiers. God knew that this was not what he wanted though and sent an angel to cross their path in order to stop them from offending him further. But sadly for Balaam, who seemed intent on getting his job done despite anything else going on, he didn't see it... although wonderfully enough, the trusty old donkey sees the heavenly messenger - three times, in fact!
The historical story of Balaam's donkey and the modern day recounting of Cliff's pooch, reminds us all that our Lord is always watching over us and guiding us even when we may not realize it. If we are ever in doubt or find ourselves in a difficult situation, perhaps we should be listening to Elmo's and donkey's example - trusting in the Lord and obeying Him even if we don't understand His warnings. After all, our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us and will never lead us astray.