The lone goose

The lake next to my home is a quiet, contemplative setting that’s perfect for a pensive moment. One day when I’d been going through a particularly difficult time, I sat reading on the pier, feeling very alone and in need of answers—or at least a sign of God’s presence, some reassurance of His hand on my life. But nothing seemed to come, so I eventually began making my way back to the house, somewhat disappointed.

Suddenly I heard a loud honk. A lone goose flew low and landed gracefully in the middle of the lake.

It’s odd that this one is alone, I thought. Geese usually travel in flocks as they make their way to their northern homes in the spring. I paused to watch the solitary goose paddle. He quickly seemed to become more and more unsettled and began paddling faster, in ever-smaller circles. His honking grew more distressed. I watched his continued honking and nervous paddling for a few minutes, then I started back toward the house, still deep in thought.

On my way, I crossed the bridge over the stream that runs into the lake, and to my surprise, I saw that hidden behind the underbrush were five other geese. Apparently the lone fellow in the lake was a part of this small flock, but had tried to go it alone for a while. I wondered what these others would do.

Suddenly they all turned in the direction of their friend and began honking as loud as they could, leaning their heads far forward. With that call of reassurance, they all flew to aid and comfort their wandering comrade. They landed and began to swim beside the formerly lone goose, honking in softer tones.

And suddenly I realized what this scene could teach me: I couldn’t see God’s comfort or care that day, just as the lone goose couldn’t see the others around the bend, but they were there nonetheless, ready and willing to rescue him when he called for help.

Why am I surprised when God doesn’t rescue me immediately? Maybe He’s waiting for me to learn a lesson or to see the error of my ways. But He is always there, always present whether I sense His presence or not. And when I call out to Him, His presence will never fail to be with me.