40 Days: 3) Astray With The Alligators

This is the 3rd of 40 daily devotional posts based on my pursuit of a deeper understanding and appreciation of the work at the cross of Jesus Christ. Feel free to click “follow” and journey with me on a daily basis.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6 NIV)

Courtesy of farm5.flickr.com

I’m reminded of a video that I saw many years ago. I have no idea what the short film was called but it was shown to me in a small group setting.

The short film was about a father and son who had gone on a fishing trip on a lake, and the father was quite clear in his instructions to his son to not jump into the lake as there were alligators there. But like any curious kid, this son meandered away from the father who was inside the log cabin overlooking the lake gathering bait for their fishing excursion. The sons meandering turned from a curious stroll towards a nearby jetty, to a full fall into the lake.

Upon hearing the splash from the sons accidental plunge, the father sprints out, dives into the lake to save his son, only to be attacked by an alligator and be severely injured. (I know, kind of violent for a cell group short film discussion right?)

The next scene has the father being wheeled into an ambulance and the son crying profusely. The father says to the son, “now you know why I have told you to not go in the lake. Please don’t do it again!”

The son with tears streaming down his face confidently tells his dad, that after that experience he won’t dare go there again.

The ambulance drives away, and then the most haunting thing happens.

As the camera pans away from the ambulance driving away towards the boy, he has moved from where he was standing.

He was back at the jetty tempted to jump into the water again.

Astray to Abide

It’s like the old hymn writer:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,Prone to leave the God I love;

There’s a human tendency to go astray like sheep. The book of Isaiah in what scholars often call the servant song in Isaiah 53, which prophecies the coming of Jesus the Messiah acknowledges that He would lay down his life in the most unruly fashion for all of us whom like sheep have wandered astray. More than once… My hand is up…

There’s two ways that we can move from a life of moving astray, to moving in a life of abiding that I sense God wants me to focus on today in my own life, and hopefully it blesses you:

  1. Live thankful – simply put, in all things, suffering and celebration – rejoice always (Philippians 4:4)
  2. Lean on the Father – we don’t have the self strength to restrain ourselves from the wander. Lean on the one in prayer and constant communion, especially at times of difficulty and temptation.

Discussion questions: What areas of your life do you find yourself prone to wander in? How can you trust God to give you the grace for His victory in these areas?

Todays song is “In Jesus Name” from Darlene Zschech, simply because it has the line “God is fighting for us” repeated in it. Let that sink into your spirit today! Much love.

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