Last week I heard a rustling sound. I thought my husband had left the stove on. He thought I had the dryer on. Neither was true. As I listened, I opened the basement door just in time to see a squirrel scurry away. We’ve had a couple other squirrel visitors over the years. All had fallen down the furnace chimney and found their way into the basement.
For me, this wasn’t a big deal. In the past, I’ve opened the door at the top of the basement stairs, opened the outside door four feet away, put some food on the stairs and waited for the squirrel to find its way out. An hour or so with the side door open and, in the past, everyone was happy. I no longer had a squirrel in the house and the squirrel was back to enjoying its freedom and foraging for food.
This squirrel was a different matter. It had a stubborn streak or a deep sense of fear that caused it to scurry to its hideout. That hideout was a ledge way up near the ceiling in a corner by the chimney. Every time I would go into the basement, the squirrel scurried to its hideout. I had no way of “encouraging” it to go anywhere else. We were stuck in a standoff because the squirrel didn’t trust either me or the food I put out.
The Squirrel As A Picture My Relationship With God
This incident is a picture of how we sometimes respond to God. God wants us to grow in our relationship with Him as well as our maturity in Him. In order to do that we need to leave our places of familiarity and journey with God along the road He takes us. But just like the squirrel, we often feel safer staying in a place that is ultimately more dangerous. We don’t trust the morsel of a stranger’s kindness God puts in our path. Hoping in the nugget of truth that is shared about our future seems unrealistic. We don’t want to believe the bit of affirmation given to us by a friend.
My squirrel only needed to climb 12 steps and cross four feet to reach freedom, but he felt safer tucked away in his corner. Though I tried every means I could to free it, including a live trap, the squirrel ultimately died in the basement.
I’m relieved we’re not dealing with the squirrel anymore. At the same time, it’s sad the squirrel never trusted enough to find freedom. But it also gives me pause. Am I too comfortable right where I am to follow when God beckons me further in my relationship with Him? Where have I refused to take the next step to fulfill the purpose for which He created me, but it looks too scary? When has He called me to minister to a friend in need, but I don’t trust Him enough to fit one more thing into my day?
God sees beyond my comfort zone, my next step and my full day to ever greater freedom and joy in Him. He is calling me to trust Him for the details I cannot see or understand. And I stand at a crossroads. I can trust God or I can choose my own path. Similar to the squirrel, if I choose not to trust God enough times, I will find myself suffering a slow spiritual and physical decline. The good news is that I can choose to trust and experience life in greater freedom, fulfillment,and satisfaction than I can even begin to imagine.
How are you doing in trusting God? Leave me a comment; I’d love to hear.