Day 21: Remember, He wants to heal us - 29 November 2018

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

In August this year, a hyena with a snare around his neck, was seen in the Kruger National Park. Photos with cables cutting into his neck spread like a veld fire on social media.

For months, rangers tried to locate the hyena without success. The animal stayed at the back of the pack, and as soon as it sensed human activity, it vanished into a hiding place. The injuries clearly made it feel vulnerable and scared.

This past Sunday afternoon, tourists at the park sent information to the rangers that they spotted the hyena. Pauli Viljoen from the park’s science centre and Dr. Louis van Schalkwyk, a state veterinarian, immediately went to the spot where the hyena was seen.

The sun was already setting when the two men spotted the hyena pack – with the injured hyena. The animal was anesthetized. Hereafter the vet quickly cut off off the snare and disinfected the wounds. The snare was so deep in the hyena’s neck that meat and skin were already growing over it. After the hyena was treated, the two men waited for the animal to wake up before leaving – preventing that it might become a prey for other predators in the park.

The story made me think of how we react to hurtful experiences in our lives – or even when we struggle to forgive ourselves due to wrongdoing or hurting others. It's as if we become like the hyena with the "snare" around our necks. It robs us of our joy, self-confidence and boldness. Instead of running to God for healing, we run away, isolate ourselves. We stay at the “back of the pack” ready to hide if someone tries to gets too close to us. This is where the enemy wants to keep us.

In John 10:10, Jesus said:  “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."In Isaiah 1:18, God reminds us that He wants to heal us from hurt or regret: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." And in John 8:36 we read:". . . if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Can you imagine what relief the hyena felt when he woke up? This is what God wants each of us to experience. He wants to remove the snares, cutting into our throats. He wants to disinfect our wound so we can experience an abundant life. Let's get out of the shadows where we are hiding and allow God to heal us. God bless. 

Father God, thank you very much for knowing that if you release me, I can truly be free. Please guide me through your Holy Spirit to no longer hide from You, but to accept the healing you want to give me. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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