DEVOTIONAL: We’re a lot like the penguin

Published 9:38 pm Saturday, October 8, 2022

I just watched a video of a Gentoo penguin being chased by a pod of killer whales in Antarctica. The film was shot by whale watchers who watched as the little penguin kept leaping across the water just out of the reach of the hungry whales.

In a dance of life and death the little penguin went back and forth in front of their eyes looking for a way to escape. Then the little guy shocked everyone and jumped into the safety of the boat and sat right in the midst of the people. The boat had been there the whole time but it was only when the penguin got desperate that he sought refuge in the boat.

We’re a lot like the penguin. The God who created the heavens and the earth. The God who rescued us from sin and death. That God has promised us that He will be with us always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20) That God has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) But like the penguin we run around narrowly escaping the jaws of death trying to save ourselves despite the fact that God is waiting right here to deliver us.

In the midst of the trials and tribulations we will often pray that God would behold our situation or come down and help us. But God has been with us the whole time. God didn’t turn his back on us or forget us. We turned our back on God and tried to do it our own way. God is faithfully waiting for us to look to the boat for help so that He can save us again.

I like the way Paul expresses this truth in Philippians 4:4-7. He writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul encourages us to rejoice always! Why? Because our great God is as close to us as our hand is to our face! 

Isn’t it amazing how much we can fit in a space as small as the gap between our face and our hand? Somehow I allow my own ego and the problems of this world to fill that space and block my view of God so that I’m running for my life again. But time in prayer and God’s Word put my focus back on my great God. With God by our side not even the killer whales are a threat. May you be filled with the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, as you focus on Him!

Rev. Matthew Sorenson is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at pastor@stjohnsfarmville.org.