Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55
They may have feathers, but they are definitely a “band of brothers.” The other day when I was walking in the park, I once again realized what a “band of brothers” the geese and ducks are in the park. As I made my laps around the park pond, I couldn’t help but notice what was happening. No, they were not a few like the Marines, and I have no clue if they were proud of anything besides the huge mess they make on the walking path, but they were quite the band. Their slogan might be, “The Tragic, the Triumph, and the Tough.” Hmmm…that sounded better when I thought it up but hey, let’s see how it goes.
Monday of this week, I noticed in the geese and duck community there were signs of tragedy brought on by a duck couple’s poor choices. Monday, they had decided to lay some eggs and they chose the worse place ever—just three feet off the walking path. It was simply a hole in the ground with no protection, no anything. It was an invitation to disaster. Tuesday she was on the nest, and he was doing his daddy duck thing—waddling, strutting, and quacking. By Wednesday, it was game over. Lap one, they were gone, and one lone egg lay on the grass outside the nest. Lap two, they were back, and the egg was gone. Lap three they were walking around sadly quacking. I don’t speak fluent duck, but it seemed they were asking, “What happened?” I told them…out loud… “Bad choice guys, bad choice.” It was a tragedy.
But with the occasional tragedy comes moments of triumph. About ten or eleven days ago, I found a bunch of feathers by the walking path…bummer…and it looked like another sad tale…and it was. But then something happened. A little further down the path, there were two small ducklings that had somehow survived the onslaught. They were survivors…they were beating the odds. Here’s the amazing part. They are still surviving. When I walked a couple of days ago, they were still there…sticking together…a small “band of brothers.” They were hanging around a couple of big ducks, but it was clear that they were on their own. Way to go little ducks…keep on keeping on! It was a moment of triumph.
And then there were the tough guys. They had survived being goslings and now they were big, they were bad, and they were tough. The geese love to stand around on the walking path and, uh, well, you know. It’s really quite messy. That day, I was speeding along, and I soon realized the geese and I were on a collision path…either them or me were going to have to hit the grass and it wasn’t going to be me. So, I “parted the waters” and they all puffed their chest out and started hissing at me. They hissed, I kept walking and they finally moved. We had played chicken (no pun intended) and I had won, but I had to admire their toughness. Like I said, “gutsy.”
Tragedy…Triumph…and Toughness. It seems life is life no matter what. We all know about tragedy…live long enough and it is going to mess with your life. The difference is ducks and geese rarely see it coming and we often do. The difference is they have to face it alone, but we have a Someone who will walk with us through the hard times. That someone is Creator God. He is always there and always willing to help. He can turn tragedy into triumph. While there are plenty of epic failures in our paths, we can also know the joy of winning…of triumph. I remember when ABC Sports tag line was “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” and that is the way of life. Sometimes we win and sometimes…well, we don’t.
I know it is natural for us, like our goose friends, to puff our chest out, and hiss and strut around trying to prove how tough we are. But truthfully, often we are not tough enough and that is when we need to lean on the One who is. Our Dearest Daddy loves us so much that He sent His Son to take on our greatest enemy…death…and soundly thrash it. No wonder Paul, one of the guys God used to pen a lot of the New Testament, said, “Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?” You gotta love Jesus’ toughness when it came to taking on sin and the grave.
Well, if you live in Harrisburg, Illinois or if your town has a park with a goose and duck “band of brothers” stop by and see what you can see…what you can learn. And if you’ve never met the God who took on death and won…why not check Him out today. You will discover a God who is strong enough to say, with confidence, “I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne