Recently, I was making the very familiar, often travelled 45 minute trek from our house to our church, winding through the curvy, country back roads, music blasting, enjoying the time away from my computer keyboard. As I was driving down the road, I came to a stretch where the curves straightened out on a nice long straightaway. I could see a few hundred yards in front of me. As I looked into the distance, I saw 3 deer slowly crossing the road.
I had plenty of time to stop because I could see them from so far away, and as I slowed to a stop, I was able to see it was a mama doe with two little spotted baby deer. As I watched the deer, I became fascinated watching the mother deer. She had positioned herself in a way that, if a car was going to hit anyone, it was going to be her. She put herself between the car and the deer.
Then I noticed the behavior of the two little deer. One took the lead from the mother, stayed protected by her, and crossed to safety. However, the other little deer didn’t allow the mother to take care of it. It dawdled across the road, turned around a few times and went back into the road, back into the danger zone outside of its mother’s protection. Eventually it got across the road, the mother deer finished crossing, and I was able to get back on my way.
As I continued on the road, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “Did you see how the mother deer tried to protect her child and keep it from harm. That is exactly how God treats his children. He stands in the gap to the keep the enemy from being able to get at His children to hurt them or destroy them. If God’s children will surrender their will to His, obey His commands, and do what He called them to do, He will stand in the gap and protect them.
However, if God’s children refuse to do things God’s way, if they continue to toy with the evil and danger around them, if they continue to ignore the temptations, sins, and dangers around them and remove themselves from the protection obedience to God gives them, then, like the little deer, they leave themselves exposed to the enemy, sins, trials, and temptations.”
Then the Holy Spirit showed me something else. Even though the second deer went off on its own and put itself in danger, the mama deer didn’t get disgusted and walk away. No! She stood pat, offering her protection. All the little deer needed to do to be protected was get back to where it was suppose to be, do what it was called to do, and it would be right back where it needed to be.
So why am I telling you this. I feel there are a few things God wants us to learn from these three deer.
1. Our Heavenly Father Always Offers Us Protection
There is not a single trial or temptation that the enemy can throw at us that God will not protect us from as long as we are willing to rely on Him to protect us. When the enemy throws anything at us, we need to cry out to God for Help and take shelter in His protection. He is “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1) He always has our back and will take care of us.
2. Obedience brings us protection
We see this through the example of the first deer. It did what it was suppose to do. It crossed the road safely behind its mom, and it found shelter on the other side, safe from the dangers lurking on the roadway. When we are living the kind of life God wants us to live, a life of obedience and surrender, we take away the opportunities for the enemy to try and trap us. We go about our Heavenly Father’s business, and He provides us cover to do what we are supposed to be doing.
3. Disobedience opens us to the enemies attack.
We see this through the example of the second deer. It didn’t do what it was supposed to do, it walked away from the protection it was given, and by doing so, opened itself to being struck by me or another car driving down this road. The same happens to us when we live a life of compromise or sin.
The only way the enemy can get to us is when we allow him to get to us. Because God places us on firm unshakeable ground, he can only get at us when we give back ground through compromise and sin.
This is a huge issue among Christians today. Too many believers are pushing the envelope of compromise, seeing just how far they can wander out of God’s protection before they get hit by the car and face sins consequences. But the enemy is shrewd. He makes it look safer than it actually is, and before we know it, compromise leaves us exposed and out from under God’s protection. We are wide open to the enemy’s attacks on our lives.
4. God never moves, we can get in back under His protection
Amen! That is the good news for all God’s children who find themselves in the place where they have wandered away. God is still right where He always ways, offering His shield and safety. All we have to do is admit our sins, repent, and get back to the place we had originally left. We can once again come under God’s protection by once again obeying and submitting. That is the good news of the Gospel!
5. When you get back under God’s protection, stay there.
Ok, fast forward 24 hours. I am driving down the same stretch of road towards church. As I near the area I saw the three deer the day before, I saw brake lights ahead of me and someone walking on the road. As I came to a stop behind a car and a huge moving truck, I saw a trucker cautiously approaching something in the road. I quickly saw it was a tiny, spotted deer, hit by the truck and unable to move. The trucker picked it up and carried it to the side of the road, whether it was dying or already dead, I don’t know. I also don’t know if it was the same deer I saw the day before, but being in the same area the odds are good it was.
As I started driving down the road again, I thought of the 5th point to add to this article. Once you get back in line with God, STAY THERE! It is often tempting once we get comfortable again and have been out of the danger zone for some time to let our guard down and once again play with sin and compromise. But we cannot go backwards. Stay focused. Go forward with God. Grow. Mature. This will ensure the protection is there at all times for you.
So, three deer on a country road teaching us all an important lesson. It was a beautiful “God moment” that I wanted to share with you. I hope you too will take the lessons learned from these three woodland creatures. I know it has impacted me, and I trust it will do the same for you.