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Don't Count Me Out
by Barbie Jones
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Donít Count Me Out

There is much to be learned from Godís creatures. One species in particular is geese. Today as I sat eating my lunch in an area set up for lunch and designed to showcase the landscaping in the rear of the building, I glanced up from my reading and looked out at the large field through windows that span from ceiling to floor. I noticed several groups of geese sifting through the snow eating whatever remnants of grass they could find.

Due to the eight inches of snow we just got here in the Midwest, I was surprised to see so many geese still around. Iím not sure just how many there were, maybe fifty or more.

Iíll be the first to admit that I know nothing about the migration habits of geese, but since childhood, the thought had always rested in the back of my mind that ďgeese fly south for the winter.Ē Iím guessing the geese as well as the ducks had been hanging out waiting for the big chill, because we havenít had any frigid temperatures and the ponds had not frozen over yet.

I watched the geese for a few more minutes then returned to my reading. For some reason I glanced up again to see a group of five take off and fly south. I didnít think much about their actions until I noticed that another small group had stopped eating and were standing still and staring straight ahead as if preparing for take-off behind the first group. Not long after the first group flew off, a group of three followed. Were they finally prepared to fly south for the winter? Are they adhering to an internal schedule? Now these birds had my attention. Isnít it interesting that God will and can use anything to teach us a lesson?

My reading now forgotten, I watched intently to see which group would take off next. Most of those big birds still had their heads to the ground pecking away, but out of the corner of my left eye, I saw one bird flap his huge wings. I turned to see a few others begin to flap as well. This group was a group of about ten. Five took off, and then three more haphazardly rushed to lift off and catch up with the others. The three obviously werenít paying attention when the lead bird flapped his wings. They kind of lagged behind but not for long, those three birds flew with such tenacity, they caught up with the five in no time. Two more took off but they didnít seem to care whether they caught up with the group or not, hmmÖ stragglers. Were these possibly the rebellious ones of the group?

I watched as the eight took up formation while the two stragglers flew off in another direction. What fascinated me about this group of birds is that after the five took off, they did not look to the left nor to the right. Not one bird looked behind to see whether the others followed. Those three werenít discouraged because the leader didnít wait for them or come to see if everything was all right. They knew they were a part of the group and refused to be left behind.

As I watched these birds, I remembered another time during this past summer I watched a group of twenty geese from my kitchen window. They were lying around in the sun after trying to consume every blade of grass in sight. All of a sudden one got up, and then another, until ten of them had formed a single straight line. Third from the back of the group was one that limped as he walked. This bird looked straight ahead and walked with its chest stuck out not missing a beat.

I marveled at how this animal held its head as high as the others and fell in step in the midst, not behind the other birds. If he had been human, he may have felt sorry for himself or inferior and got at the end of the line. I could almost feel his confidence and pride. It was as if he, as well as the three today that struggled to keep up with their group, was saying, ďDonít count me out. I may have a flaw or a disability, and I may even fall behind sometimes but I belong. Donít count me out because I can do this.Ē

Oh, what a lesson Christians can learn from these birds. As I write this, I have to admit more geese stories are stored in my mind than I realized. Geese are strong, brave and confident creatures. Try rushing a gaggle of them across a busy avenue.

In this life, we are going to encounter different struggles. We may have to face negative people, and may even have to stare death in the face, but donít be shaken! We are a part of Godís family; we have a purpose, and are on our way to our destiny. Only God knows the plan for our lives from beginning to end. We must trust Him and do not allow anyone to sow seeds of doubt in our hearts. Just as Romans 8:31b tells us, ďIf God is for us who can be against us.Ē

You CAN do ALL things through Christ. Will it be easy? Not all the time. Will you face opposition, sickness, heartache and loneliness? Most certainly, but if God is the wind beneath the wings of geese, what can He be to you if you let Him?

©Barbie Jefferson Jan 2005

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