By Kelli Combs
“Maybe one day you will have a daughter and will get a taste of your own medicine.” These words from my mom, from many years ago, have echoed in my head recently. This is one of those times when I wish she had not been right. But, as it turns out, my mom was right most of the time.
Let’s just say I am now “there,” and one of my three children, who will remain unnamed, seems to be on a mission to challenge me daily. There is always that “one” who God uses to grow and stretch us. And my “one” just happens to be the most like me.
Yes, Lord, I get the picture.
It had not been a good week. One afternoon, I was on my way home from work and was consumed with prayer, begging God to show me how to protect my daughter. I’m so thankful He knows our kids even better than we do.
On this particular day I was specifically asking the Lord for wisdom as to how to love her through the struggles we currently found ourselves in. As I was driving, I noticed a small animal crossing the road ahead, so I began to slow my car down. As I eased closer, I was able to make out what the small, fuzzy figure was. It was the cutest little baby raccoon I have ever seen.
As I inched a little closer, the baby’s momma came out of nowhere and it was obvious that she was aware of my presence, which, for her baby, equaled danger. As she frantically looked from me to her little one, I could see the desperation in her eyes. What came next was so precious that I will never forget it.
This sweet little momma ran over and placed her body on top of her baby’s and gently tried to guide him off of the street and away from danger. Everywhere her baby went, she went. This went on for about a minute, until it became apparent that her offspring had no intention of leaving the road. It was then that our momma raccoon decided it was time for a little more aggressive “Plan B.”
Glancing nervously in my direction one last time, she picked her unassuming little rebel up by the neck and proceeded to carry him off the street and out of harm’s way. I think I laughed out loud as I watched this little one flailing and fighting to break free. I could tell it was a waste of energy because this resolved little momma wasn’t letting go until her child was a safe distance from danger. I had to wonder what was going through his little raccoon mind as momma literally dragged him off the road.
As I watched the spectacle, it occurred to me that this was a beautiful and loving answer to my prayer. I had prayed and asked the Lord if I was being too hard on my daughter. He faithfully gave me a real-life illustration in His response to my question.
What did I learn that day? There are times when we, as mothers, can gently lead our kids away from danger. Then there are those times when we have to yank them up by the nape of the neck and literally drag them to safety. Will there be times when they don’t understand and maybe even accuse us of not loving them? Will they often resist and accuse us of being mean? Yes, but it’s all worth it and it’s our job to make sure they don’t end up as road kill on the road of life.
Tears began to flow as I started to see myself as the baby raccoon, looking back on all the times that, just like that sweet momma raccoon, the Lord had to drag me, kicking and screaming, away from danger, all while I resisted and accused Him of being unfair. I now see that He was showing me love as much then as He ever had in my life. Sometimes a little tough love is in order, especially with us particularly stubborn children.
I drove away from that scene knowing I had been with Jesus. I was fully aware that these raccoons had been sent on a mission by their Creator just for me. All I could do the rest of the way home was thank the Lord for being such a personal God. I guess if He can speak through a donkey, He can surely speak through a raccoon. It’s one of the things I love most about Him.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Kelli Combs is married to her pastor, Michael, and they are the parents of three teenagers. She is the director of a ministry that helps women in the aftermath of abortion. Her greatest passion is studying and teaching the Word of God and helping women to overcome the lies of the enemy regarding their pasts.