Good Wednesday Morning to you! As I was reminded of all the trouble happening in the Holy Land, I remembered a phrase, (that I think I made up!) “Be Wise Like a Donkey!”
Do you remember the story of Balaam and his donkey? (Numbers 22:1-34)
In a nutshell, many centuries ago, there was a man who was so wise that his name was recorded in Scripture and also in some secular writings of ancient times. His name was Balaam. It was said that he had the power to curse people, cities, and whole nations, or, on the other hand, he could pronounce blessings on them.
Well, as it turns out, Balaam is tempted by the very lucrative offer of Balak, King of Moab, if he will curse Israel. God says to Balaam, “Don’t do it! Don’t you dare curse Israel!” But, in a moment of weakness, Balaam decides to travel to see King Balak to put everything together, then go to Israel, curse them, and then cash in on some treasure!
Now here’s where it gets interesting. As Balaam is traveling on his favorite, faithful donkey to meet King Balak, the donkey begins to act peculiar and refuses to go any further. You see this “dumb” animal is smarter that his master! You don’t go where God says don’t go! But Balaam hits the donkey and demands he go forward. The donkey wouldn’t budge. Again, and again, Balaam beats the animal as his anger increases. Finally, the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and the donkey says, “Hey, you hit me three times. Have I ever acted this way before? Don’t you think there might be a reason.” It was then that God opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw the angel blocking the path. Had Balaam continued to press forward to curse God’s people, he would have perished right then and there.
In his book Life from the Upside, J. Ellsworth Kalas suggests that sometimes we waste way too much time complaining about the negative things we encounter in life when, more often than not, those hard places can be where we experience the presence of God.
So, what can we learn here? Well first of all, don’t be so quick to kick the donkey in your life! Learn from it. Let those difficult donkey rides teach you something. And secondly, every now and then remember to check your direction. Are we truly seeking the Lord?
Are we seeking God’s highest and best? Is God’s Mission really our Mission?
I trust so. Well …, Have a Blessed Wednesday and Every Day!
And May all your Donkey Rides draw you closer to the Lord!!