For Girls

He Has Gone Before Me

By: Claire Ryan

There are times I sit outside on the back porch, simply to take in the beauty of creation. The sky is so blue, the grass so green, and the birds so talkative. They sing melodies back and forth, as if trying to outdo one another; each song is prettier than the last. Nature is alive.

Pawpaw and I enjoy watching the deer. A mom and her two babies like to roam the back woods, sometimes venturing out beyond the edge of the forest and into human territory. The babies are always curious, they enjoy frolicking into the unknown and experiencing the newness of life. However, when it comes to being out in the open, where there are no trees for coverage, they are somewhat timid. Their mother, perhaps, having taught them the dangers of exposure. Or, maybe, it’s an instinctive knowledge. The momma deer knows all too well what dangers they may face; so, taking charge, she leads the trot away from the forest. Her babies watch from further back, uncertain. Eventually, curiosity wins over and they join her, drawing strength from their mother’s courage. They trust her fully. If a problem arises, they believe she will protect them.

Trust. It isn’t always easy. It requires the giving up of control. When I stop and consider that, I am quickly reminded that nothing has ever truly been in my control in the first place. I have the freedom to make my own decisions, but God holds the gavel of my life.

Life can be really scary; the unknown, a daunting prospect. When I see those baby deer staring anxiously after their mother, sometimes it’s like looking in a mirror. I am tiptoeing on the edge of my forest, looking out into the large, open world. There are so many dangers out there; especially, as a Christian. Jesus tells us in John 16:33 we will face trials and tribulations in this life; however, He is our blessed hope! We can take heart, we can rest in Him, because He has overcome the world. Like that momma deer, going before her babies, bravely marching outside of their comfort zone, Jesus Himself takes me by the hand and leads me into the open fields. He will never abandon me, but protect me in His perfect way.

Deuteronomy 31:8: “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

He has gone before me.

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