We have two beautiful does on our property, each with three fawns. It’s a joy to watch the little spotted deer run after their mothers, learn all the trails and feeding areas, develop skills at crossing the road, and leap over gravestones in the nearby cemetery. We see these gentle little creatures’ strength and agility increase daily as their alertness sharpens and their independence progresses right before our eyes.
This morning, I looked out the window and saw one of the fawns standing straight and tall, nibbling leaves on a nearby bush. He wasn’t the least bit wobbly or unsteady. His siblings were across the driveway, enjoying a breakfast of tasty flowers and foliage. The mother was nowhere to be seen, but the fawns seemed confident and sure-footed as they grazed on the hillside. It was the first morning I saw them exploring the yard on their own. Wanting a closer look, I very quietly opened the door of the balcony above them, being ever so careful not to make the slightest noise.
INSTANTLY, the mother doe, completely hidden from view, took two steps out of the nearby woods and stood erect and vigilant within five feet of the fawns. She positioned herself as their rear guard and wheeled her head around, staring at me, eyeball to eyeball, as if to say, “Don’t even think about it!”
After an uncomfortable stare-down, I yielded, stepped back into the house, and closed the door. The doe herded the fawns down the driveway, white tails bobbing as they ran off into the woods. Unaware of the potential danger my presence could have caused, the fawns instinctively rested in the safety of their mother’s watchful, protective eye.
They couldn’t always stand and walk on their own. They had learned a few things about survival from their mothers. The ability to stand, walk, run and leap came as they grew in strength and size. Becoming aware of their surroundings and environmental dangers is necessary for their success as mature adult bucks and does. Drawing from all the life lessons the little fawns had learned thus far, it appeared that this morning they were sufficiently prepared to find their own breakfast and stand alone, away from their mother. Having done all, they stood, I thought, as I watched each one fending for himself.
Can I be trusted to stand that confidently in my station of life when danger comes near, or circumstances look threatening and dark? As Christians, how can we be strong, courageous, and successful at staring down our fears and the many difficulties that challenge our faith in God? What prepares us not to wobble and falter in our faith when the enemy of our souls attacks us?
The Apostle Paul gives us a sound answer in Ephesians 6:13-18: Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
THE MESSAGE translation drives it home. Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting, you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Having done all, stand. Just as the little fawns were overshadowed by the watchful protection and authority of their mother, so we are kept, through every battle and enemy assault, under the vigilant protection and authority of the Lord. Although He may seem hidden from view at times, in an instant, He is at our side, staring down our enemies and helping us do the same.
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me, the message might be fully proclaimed, and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:17-18.)
© 2022, Chris Werre