The Geese & The Barn (12/08/09)

There was once a man who did not believe in either the virgin birth of
Christ or the spiritual meaning behind it, and was skeptical even about
God. He and his family lived in a farm community. His wife was a devout
believer and diligently raised her children in the faith. He sometimes
gave her a hard time about her belief and mocked her religious
observances.

"It's all nonsense -- why would God lower himself and become a human like
us? It's such a ridiculous story," he said.

One snowy day, she and the children left for church while he stayed home.
After they had departed, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into
a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the
evening.

Then he heard a loud thump, something hitting against the window... And,
still another thump. He looked outside but could not see anything. So he
ventured outside for a better view. In the field near his house he saw,
of all the strangest things, a flock of geese. They were apparently flying
to look for a warmer area down south, but they had been caught in the
snowstorm. The storm had become too blinding and violent for the geese to
fly or see their way. They were stranded on his farm, with no food or
shelter, unable to do more than flutter their wings and fly in aimless
circles. He had compassion for them and wanted to help them. He thought
to himself, the barn would be a great place for them to stay. It is warm and
safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he
opened the barn doors for them.

He waited, watching them, hoping they would notice the open barn and go
inside. Nevertheless, they did not notice the barn or realize what it
could mean for them. He moved closer toward them to get their attention,
but they just moved away from him out of fear.

He went into the house and came back with some bread, broke it up, and
made a bread trail to the barn. They still did not catch on.

Starting to get frustrated, he went over and tried to shoo them toward
the barn. They panicked and scattered into every direction except toward the
barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where there was
warmth, safety, and shelter. Feeling totally frustrated, he exclaimed,
"Why don't they follow me? Can't they see this is the only place where
they can survive the storm? How can I possibly get them into the one
place to save them?"

He thought for a moment and realized that they just would not follow a
human. He said to himself, "How can I possibly save them? The only way
would be for me to become like those geese. If only I could become like
one of them. Then I could save them. They would follow me and I would
lead them to safety."

At that moment, he stopped and considered what he had said. The words
reverberated in his mind: If only I could become like one of them, then I
could save them. Then, at last, he understood God's heart towards
mankind... and he fell on his knees in the snow.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that
the world through him might be saved. John 3:16,17