Linda called me out into the yard the other night to see something odd. She pointed to a rabbit that was sitting under the spread of the apple tree, munching away on the grass and enjoying the shade. I was thinking, “What’s so odd about that?”, when she said, “Watch what happens when it moves. It moves sideways and falls over.” Sure enough, it hopped a few feet sideways and fell over on its side … repeatedly. It occurred to me that it would be very difficult to make any progress that way. I suspect that this rabbit may be the one I observed a few weeks ago that had a milky and bulging blind eye. I wonder if the disease or infection has progressed to the point where it has affected the creature’s brain and sense of balance.
Further reflection brought to mind the potential we all have to exhibit similar behavior in our lives as the children of God. We are capable of sitting normally, under the spread of a local church ministry, munching away on the Word of God and enjoying the fellowship. However, our movements during the week can often betray the reality of what is disguised by our appearance on Sunday. The disease and infection of harbored sinful thoughts and attitudes and secret actions eventually work their way into our outward behavior. Just as rabbits are not meant to travel sideways a few feet at a time and then fall over on their side … repeatedly; believers are not meant to repeatedly manifest aberrant, sinful behavior. If they do, there is obviously a problem that needs to be addressed. Unless the problem is addressed, it will be nigh impossible to make any progress in the Christian life we were intended to live.
If you are behaving like the rabbit, immediate help must be sought. The rabbit will likely succumb to its affliction if it is not picked off by a neighborhood dog or predatory hawk. You, like the rabbit, are in great peril.
Perhaps you are not to the point of travelling sideways a few feet at a time and then falling over repeatedly in your Christian walk. However, we all have the germ of such behavior that has been sown into our hearts and minds. It doesn’t take a lot of neglect before it will affect our sight and balance to the extent that we become a serious reproach to the testimony of Christ.
Being a compassionate person, at least when it comes to helpless creatures, I had a moment of pity for the poor rabbit until I realized that he had probably been one of the participants in the leporidae campaign to destroy my rosebushes by chewing them back to the ground as they grew this spring. I’m thankful, however, for a God Whose compassion does not fail, and Who will receive and heal the repentant sinner who comes seeking His mercy and grace.