You're likely aware that I love spring. There are so many things going on in nature that serve as reminders of our risen Lord that it's difficult for me to comprehend not loving spring (while I do extend a bit of grace toward those who suffer from allergies to such a degree that they can't help but harbor hard feelings toward spring).
This year, one of those reminders has been the goslings that hatched recently by the pond in front of the home office.
I watched them for a little while this afternoon as we awaited the beginning of a meeting. The interactions between the goslings and their loving, protective, instructive parents is quite fascinating. Their parents are instructing them on how to be mobile in different environments. I've seen them nudge them along the asphalt driveway toward our employee parking lot. A coworker told me how the parents teach the goslings to be brave and jump down off the curb and then teach them how to jump back onto it. Today, the goslings were waddling up and down a small hill, their parents just a few feet away, watching attentively.
As I think of the precious new lives waddling around the pond in front of our building, I'm reminded of our life cycle as Christians. God pulls us out of the muck and mire and transforms us. He gives us new life. We are new creations. (cf. 1 Cor. 5:17)
The growth process begins immediately. God builds and strengthens our faith day by day. As we study His Word and sit under godly teaching, our knowledge of the Lord expands and deepens. God reveals our spiritual gifts to us, and we begin to step out and serve.
God places people in our lives to assist with this process: elders, counselors, friends, family, new brothers and sisters in Christ. They are in our lives to nudge us along and keep us on track. One of the goslings has a tendency to lag behind and stray away from the group. The parents, very lovingly and gently, seek out the gosling and nudge him back where he belongs. Our fellow believers do the same thing for us.
Even more importantly, He has given us the Holy Spirit, an ever present advocate and aid. In John 14:26, Jesus told His disciples, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." What a precious gift from the Lord!
There are many days I still feel like a gosling, not because I'm growing and learning, but because I'm tumbling down the hill again. I'm very grateful for the other geese God has placed in my life. They help me get back on track, and they do so in a loving and gracious manner.
Take a look around you today. Are there goslings in your path in need of some encouragement? Maybe you're in need of encouragement. If so, I adjure you to seek out fellow believers and allow them to minister to you. After all, I'm sure you don't want to waddle around the pond forever. Don't you want to fly some day? I know I do. :O)