The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. [Psalm 145:17-19 (NLT)]
I recently happened upon a YouTube video about a goose and two police officers. A mother goose kept pecking at the window of a parked Cincinnati police car. When the officer opened the door, the goose led him over to one of her babies; it was tangled up in a string tied to a balloon. Concerned that mama goose would attack if he came close to the baby, the first officer stayed back. His partner was a woman and a mother; seeing the anguish of another mother, she went forward and carefully untangled the little gosling while its mama patiently watched and waited. Once free of the twine, the baby rejoined its siblings and the family swam off with their mother.
If mother goose had tried to remedy this situation by herself, she probably would have become ensnared in the twine as well. With the two of them trapped, what would have become of the rest of her brood? Wisely, this mama knew her limitations and went to a higher authority, one with opposable thumbs, for the help she needed. While the goose knew enough to ask for help, we human mamas (and papas) aren’t always so wise. Instead of going to the highest authority, we often think we can resolve every problem by ourselves.
I think of Isaac’s wife Rebekah, mother of Esau and Jacob. When pregnant with her twin boys, the Lord told her they would become two rival nations. One would be stronger than the other and her older boy would end up serving his younger brother. Jump ahead a few decades when Isaac is an old man and decides it is time to pass on his patriarchal blessing to the elder Esau. This irrevocable blessing included a double portion of the family inheritance and the honor of becoming the family’s leader. When she was pregnant, God never told Rebekah anything about inheritances, birthrights or blessings; he spoke about nations. Nevertheless, Rebekah, not trusting God to fulfill his promise in His own time and way, decided to take matters into her own hands. Rather than praying about the situation and taking her concerns to the highest authority, she stepped into the mess and helped Jacob deceive Isaac. As a result, Jacob had to flee his homeland and Rebekah lost her beloved son forever. Yes, because of her interference, God’s prophecy was fulfilled and His will achieved but I seriously doubt He needed Rebekah’s help to make that happen. Although the Bible is silent about the relationship between Isaac and Rebekah following the discovery of her deceit, I suspect their marriage suffered. Rebekah made a mistake when deciding she, rather than God, was the one who could untangle the mess!
It’s important to know what situations are ours to fix and what situations are best left to God! Heavenly Father, guide us so that we don’t step into predicaments and simply make them worse. Give us the discernment to know when our help is necessary and useful or when it is interfering and damaging. Knowing that with you all things are possible, may we always come to you with our concerns and doubts and may prayer be our first response rather than our last resort.
When you focus on your problems, it gives you more problems. When you focus on God, He gives you solutions. [Ritu Ghatourey]