The Goose & The Swan
I’m in awe of how God can use simple-mundane moments to share His heart with us. Often we become so numb to our everyday landscape that we can be blind to the beauty of God’s truths that He is trying to share with us in those familiar places.
This week God revealed to me something profound in the ordinary through….wait for it…..geese! I know, it sounds a bit simplistic with a dash of crazy, but stick with me here, friends. Near where I work, there is a pond. In said pond are always several swans, which at first-glance doesn’t provoke much thought. But, the longer you stare, you notice that they are actually fake (the one tilted on its side was the one who blew their cover). Now, I’m not claiming to be a bird expert here, so….my first thought was the swans were simply placed there for aesthetics (please tell me I’m not alone on this one, ha!) but this week, a gentleman who was joining us for lunch asked THE QUESTION. Why are there fake swan in the pond? THANK YOU, SIR. I’VE BEEN WONDERING THE SAME THING!
Someone from our team explained the swans are there to scare off the geese so they don’t go into the pond. With one glance, I could tell he was correct. Hundreds of geese surrounded the pond, but not a single one dared to go into the water with the swans there.
Geese are “Anseriformes,” which is a species of waterfowl. All species in the order are highly adapted for an aquatic existence at the water surface. God created the geese to be in the water, their natural habitat, yet, because of the authority the swans command they don’t dare to intrude on what is meant to be rightfully theirs too.
My dear friends, we have much in common with these geese. God has called us into the water, but how often do we allow the “swans” in our life to keep us safely on the shore?
Swans represent the things that keep us from stepping into our God-given calling. People who have belittled us, people who have positioned themselves as having it all together, wanting us to believe we will never amount to their level, influence or authority, attempting to instill fear and doubt in ourselves. When in reality, once looked at from a different angle, these swans are hollow, a fraud themselves. Yet, we allow them to be the thing that stands between us and our God-ordained territory.
Our own “swan” mentality can hinder us just as deeply. Our own perceptions of who we are and who we are not. We get in the way of our own success by simply allowing the enemy to be the labeler of our life. GEESE, we cannot allow the swan to win. We have been called to step out onto the water, where we are meant to exist, not just dip our toes in.
When we turn to Matthew 14:22-33 we get a glimpse into this internal struggle.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied,“tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Peter wouldn’t have dared to step into the waters if it weren’t that there was a firm foundation underneath him to support him. That, my dear friends, is Jesus. We see firsthand in this passage what happens when we go out onto the waters alone, we have a sinking feeling and react with a spirit of fear and doubt. That feeling is draining. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of faith and trust that is life-giving.
Cue Wisconsin “Fall” weather. The very next day the snow began to pour down and little by little the pond began to freeze. As I was driving past, I noticed one goose courageously stepping out onto the frozen water and making its way towards the swan. This goose didn’t have the same courage just a day ago to go out onto the water. It took a firm foundation to step out.
We can move forward in faith into the waters God has called us to, with the same knowledge that Goose had. With a firm foundation we can go out and face the swans. We can wander into what we have been promised and given knowing that the swan is just a deterrent to our destiny. That goose, my dear friends, is you & you & YOU!
May our battle cry be that God may rise up HIS flock to step forward in faith out onto the waters. It’s where He has called us to be, where we are meant to exist.