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Do Groundhogs Exist?

GodThis morning I spotted a groundhog. It was near a hedge close to my favorite place to stop each morning to pray, read, reflect. If it wasn’t moving I would never have spotted it as it blended in perfectly with the gray/brown trees and darker underbrush. Then it stopped moving. It stood there motionless. I could no longer make out its furry shape. Rather it looked exactly like a dead log lying in the underbrush. It didn’t move for so long that I began to doubt I actually saw the little critter.

I was surprised how quickly I doubted myself – even with my own eyes. Despite the fact that I saw a groundhog (a furry quadruped) chewing on the grass next to the hedge, when it stopped moving, doubt crept in. However, I never took my eyes off the “log.” I waited.

It felt like an eternity.

I couldn’t believe the little bugger could stay still so long. What was it doing? Doesn’t it know I need it to twitch its nose, wiggle its tail, something – so I can believe. Doubt is uncomfortable! Come on buddy – get busy! Despite my expectations, it remained still.

So I waited some more.

Then, ever so subtly, the groundhog turned its head. The log suddenly looked different. I saw a new side of the log. But wait! Is this just my imagination? Are my eyes playing tricks on me?

Then, as if to show me even more, the groundhog slowly turned around and showed me its back and its cool, dark tail. It then swung back around, did a full circle in the grass, and stood up on its hind legs – like a squirrel does when sniffing the air, or sensing danger. The groundhog then waddled into the underbrush. It was even harder to see in there, but I never took my eyes off it. The groundhog sniffed around. It scratched a tree. Then took off at a fairly good waddle. I couldn’t see him any longer.

I sat there taking it all in. It dawned on me how this is a wonderful example of how God can reveal Himself.

We catch a glimpse of God – perhaps through a friend, a kind act, a sermon – and then nothing. We begin to doubt. Then we see another movement, perhaps subtler, but we’re still not sure. And then, through God’s grace, He begins to reveal himself with gentleness, and at a pace we can absorb the breadth and scope of who He is.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. – The Message

Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson


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