Did you know that the Cape Buffalo is considered to be one of the most dangerous animals in Africa to hunt? I have a good friend who just returned from an African hunt and was bestowing his wisdom to me on the African culture and species. He spoke specifically about the Cape Buffalo, and I found it intriguing, so of course I went down the rabbit hole and researched all I could find on the interesting animal. Their main predators are usually lions, hyenas, large Nile crocodiles, and of course humans. It is said that it takes an entire lion pride to take down a single buffalo. What caught my attention was a video I came across that captured how the Cape Buffalo come together when an enemy poses a threat. Not only are these animals large and have sharp horns on either side of their head, but they also travel in herds of 500 plus! If one cape buffalo wanders away from the herd, that is when the enemy strikes. When this happens and one of their own is in danger, the rest of the herd doesn’t run away in fear that they might be next. No, no no, they do the complete opposite. The entire herd will gather around the wounded one, even with the enemy still attacking, and stand together with their horns facing out, ready to defend and scare the enemy away.
I tell you all of this to make a point of how we also do this as disciples of Christ. When one of us strays too far and is getting attacked on the daily, we stand together in hard times to protect and defend one another. I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but when my life gets hard and the enemy starts attacking, my tactic used to be to shut down, isolate, and turn away from everyone in my life. I just wanted to be alone in my hurt. I was filled with shame, guilt, and pride and I couldn’t get myself out of it. I had to learn the hard way that God did not design us to be alone. He created us to be in relationship with Him and with others. If we are walking through pain, we must deny ourselves and ask for help from other believers. Hebrews 3:13 says “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
So, how do we practically live this out and allow others in our life when life gets hard?
We must submit and surrender all we have and all we are to God. We must fill our minds and hearts with His words of Truth. Write them out, memorize them, stick them on a post it note and put them around your house. Trust in His promises and believe in His words. Spend time with Him in prayer and worship. Remind yourself to have an eternal perspective of your pain and trials. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelations 21:4. Remember that our suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (Romans 3:3-5) so put your hope in our Mighty King, and know that He will work all things for your good.
We must call out for help. I got an email yesterday from a woman I’ve only met once. She was describing her life as chaotic and hard and said that she was gripped with depression and anxiety and couldn’t shake it. She asked if I would be willing to talk with her and find some resources that would help. When I finished reading the email, I was in tears. I was so touched that she had the courage and bravery to sit down, write out an email of all her junk to someone she barely knows, and ask for help. She reminded me of how easy it is to “stray from the herd”. But instead of isolating, she took the first step to allowing someone in her life when things are hard. When I was finally able to surrender myself to the Lord, I knew I needed to surround myself with strong, Christian people who would help me learn how to live a Godly life during my trials. I asked a God-fearing woman from church if she would be interested in discipling me and man am I glad she said yes. Over the years, we have built up a strong, solid relationship. She rejoices with me when I rejoice, and she mourns with me when I mourn. When I am hurting, I reach out to her, and she, like the Cape Buffalo, stands in unity with me against the enemy. She encourages me when I feel defeated, and she listens with the intent to understand. She doesn’t have all the answers and sometimes doesn’t even give any advice, but she reminds me of God’s truth and of who I am in Christ.
God did not create us to be alone, especially in our trials. Call out to your “herd” in times of need. Glorify God by sharing your life with them and stand in unity against the enemy together.
Small Groups Administrative Assistant
Real Life Ministries Texas