I took my children for a walk today and came upon a goose with a broken wing. All the other geese were separated from this one goose, taking residence in the distance. This one goose was all alone, a prisoner so it seemed. Like our sins weigh us down, so this goose was stuck, unable to fly.
I continued walking around the lake and when I finished my stroll for the day, I came upon that goose once again. To my surprise, he had walked all the way from the one side of the park to the other. He was about to attempt entering the lake so he could rejoin his fellow geese.
When he walked across the ice that had formed upon the top layer of the lake, the ice cracked just enough and he fell through into the water. He was stuck, surrounded by ice. I stood by watching his struggle, hoping that he would overcome this sudden obstacle. It took numerous tries and many pauses in between, but the goose was able to rejoin the others. He was no longer a slave.
This goose reminded me of the common belief that was held in the past, that illness was due to sin. Job’s friends were very quick to point the finger. This goose was separated just like we sometimes separate from our fellow man when they need us most. Rather than being supportive, we point fingers. Rather than joining together to help, we turn and abandon. Even worse, at times we add to the burden.
But God has better plans. He did not allow Job’s friends to have the final answer. He also did not sit by and allow us to stay stuck in the ice, unable to move from our sin. We were separated, but He provided a bridge. We were slaves to our sins, but He has set us free.
That goose did not deserve to be abandoned by his fellow geese. No human deserves to be abandoned or mistreated by another. God has set us free. Galatians 5:1 states: “Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery” (HCSB). We are free thanks to the blood of Christ.
When a fellow man is struggling, we must remember that Paul left us an important message: “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). We need not abandon. We need not mistreat, “but through love serve one another” (5:13b NASB). Each one of us has been that goose with the broken wing. Let us serve each other in love!