By Julia Charleston
A few years ago, I was driving to work early in the morning when I noticed in the distance debris in the middle of the freeway. I slowed down, got into the other lane, and as I came upon the object, I realized it was a deer that had very recently been struck by a vehicle. The deer was still alive, and it struggled to get up but couldn’t, probably because its legs were broken. As I passed by, the deer made eye contact with me, as if to say “HELP ME!” I saw terror in its eyes, but there was absolutely NOTHING I could do for that deer, and I began to sob. I’ve seen that same terrified look in many eyes of our program participants here at The Foundry, sending me to my knees in desperate prayer.
I couldn’t get the image of that deer out of my head for weeks; I didn’t understand what it was doing in the middle of the freeway. Every time I drove past that spot I observed both sides of the roadway. Obviously, the deer was trying to get to the other side; but why?
The deer was just fine where he was. There were plenty of trees to call home and lots of tall grass to forage. But he made a critical and deadly error, costing that deer its life. There was nothing for it to do but lay down and wait to die.
“So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.”
1 Timothy 6:8 [NLT]
There’s an old adage which states “The grass is always greener on the other side.” We live in a world where we want what we don’t or can’t have, right? We get to a good place; a place where we know we’re supposed to be, and we’re content for a moment until we see something else appearing to be better. So we run off chasing the “greener” side, only to be content for another moment. Whoever came up with that famous quote got it wrong. It should read:
“The grass only appears greener on the other side.”
We all live our lives under God’s wonderful gift of free will. We love our free will, don’t we? We want to do things our own way, rather than God’s way. We love our free will, until we mess up. Then we blame God when He doesn’t rescue us or our hurt loved ones.
There is an enemy of our souls, and he is subtle. He will pounce all over us as soon as he sees us looking in a different direction other than up. He’s sneaky, and he’ll slither his way into our lives and point out how lusciously green that grass looks on the other side of the road. He did it to Eve, didn’t he? He’ll confuse us and cause us to stumble; and when we do, he’ll condemn and accuse us of messing everything up.
Looking at the seemingly green grass on the other side is a distraction that will cause some to fall and stumble, but for some could be a deadly mistake, as with the afore mentioned deer. Stay focused on the Lord, and He will help you be content in all things.
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”
Philippians 4:11 [NLT]