If you’ve ever watched one of those nature specials about animals in the African wild, you’ve probably seen a lion chase after a gazelle. And the way the lions work is to identify one of the gazelles in the herd which is older, younger or somehow weaker. Then they work to get that gazelle separated from the rest of the herd in order to have a better chance of killing it. That’s because the lion instinctively knows that if it attacks in the middle of the herd, the herd… which outnumbers it… may turn on them, rally, counter-attack & somehow defeat the lion. So they weed one off, causing it to move away from the herd out of fear or thinking it can find a better way to escape the attack. But once the gazelle is by itself, it is no match for the lion.
Most of those type nature shows end with a narrator saying something like, “Such is the way of life in this African wilderness.” I’d like to say that it’s about the same in our lives.
The enemy of our souls employs this technique of dividing to conquer. He works to create fear, worry, anxiety and despair in us. Then he uses that to cause us to push away from the very herd of people who love us and could help us. No matter what your issue today… infertility… pornography… a broken heart… lack of purpose… your enemy wants you to feel like you’re the only one… like no one else understands… as if no one has ever experienced what you’re going through in just the way you’re going through it. And the more you feel alone, the more you push away from the herd. And then the more hopeless your situation feels.
But you have a herd. Run toward them instead of away from them. Run for your life toward them. They are not going to chide you for struggling. They are going to welcome you back into the herd. They are going to surround you and defend you. And even if someone did say, “Well, that wasn’t the smartest thing you ever did,” at least you’d still be alive.
The way to defeat this fear the enemy tries to use against us and separate us from our herd is to expose the struggle. The very thing that causes you fear… someone else finding out that you feel weak or that you struggle… is the very thing that will vanquish the fear. That’s because, when you open up and share about it in a right and healthy environment, others will acknowledge that they, too, struggle or have struggled with that very thing. Your aloneness will evaporate as you realize you are normal… that you are more a part of the herd than you ever realized.
And just in case you don’t know what I mean by herd, I’ll clarify… family… church… emotionally and spiritually healthy friends at work. Your herd is made up of those people who surround you who are healthy enough to help you. Truth be told, there are other weak and struggling members of the herd, but at least together you stand a chance against the enemy.
Let the lion go hungry. Stay with the herd!