A Captured Chipmunk and I Have Much In Common

Living in a log cabin in the country provides me with many opportunities to observe “critters”. I prefer to see them from afar rather than up close and personally! Yesterday, I opened the door to let my dogs in, and before I could close it, something brown, fat, and furry scampered over my foot. Of course, our three dogs were frantically trying to get to the poor creature, and I just wanted it out of my house! It took all of about 30 seconds for “Chipper” to scurry behind the piano, out of the reach of his attackers.


The dogs continued to stare at the piano for the better part of the day, willing Chipper to come out. He finally jumped from behind the piano onto the hearth and hurriedly ran down the hall into the guest bathroom, with dogs and I in hot pursuit. I was able to close the bathroom door and while he was safe from the dogs, Chipper was trapped in a confined space.

I have responded much like Chipper in different seasons of my life. So many times I have run in hundreds of directions trying to fix people and alter circumstances only to find that I was hedged in, but the Lord’s walls of protection were for my safety, not my detriment.

When my husband came home that evening, I told him we had a visitor in our guest bathroom and he needed to deal with getting Chipper out of our house…..alive. He armed himself with a large, wet towel and a spray bottle filled with water, a couple of drops of ammonia, and a shot of flea spray. After spraying Chipper with the spray, he threw the towel over him, gathered him up and ran out the door!

This could not have been a pleasant experience for poor Chipper; he was not in his home, nor did he understand our good intentions toward him; he was incapable of knowing our hearts. He was trapped, frightened and had no idea how these painful circumstances would not only save his life, but also would result in his being freed to live the life he was created to live.

I am so like that chipmunk. Many times… when one of our children died in infancy, another child was sexually molested by a trusted neighbor, and a third child died of an accidental overdose, I have cried out to God, “Why did You allow this to happen? What are you doing? Why me? Why now? Why this?” This is not the life I would have chosen had it been up to me, and yet this world is not my permanent home. My heavenly Father sovereignly orchestrates every situation and circumstance that I face. Because I belong to Him, the Lord promises in His Word that He will redeem ALL things in my life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, for my ultimate good and for His glory. He is in the business of conforming me to the image of His beloved Son, Jesus, preparing me to live eternally as the person He created me to be.

Just as Chipper did not understand our intentions or the painful treatment he received in order to preserve his life, I often have not understood, liked, or been thankful for the ways in which the Lord has chosen to work in my life and in the lives of those I love. But unlike Chipper, I know the intentions of my Father’s heart, and I can trust him in whatever circumstances come my way.

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