Last week Sunday my family and I watched The Great Migration, part of BBC’s Nature’s Great Events series narrated by David Attenborough. It was set in the Serengeti. Each year the Serengeti grasslands are teeming with wildebeest and zebra, making it a paradise for the predators that live there. As long as these animals were around, the lions were able to eat and feed their young. The Ntudu pride flourished when prey was around but they were soon to experience hardship.
There are times in our lives when there is plenty. We have all that we need. We have nothing to worry about. Life is great. Then, the tough times come. For the lions it was when the wildebeest left for greener pastures leaving them behind to struggle to find enough food for their hungry young.
The lions got so skinny, you could see their ribs and bones protruding from their skin and a couple of them were mangy. There was no water to drink. The earth was parched because there was no rain. Some of them died because they hadn’t eaten for months. It was sad to see. During our tough times, it seems like no relief is in sight. We don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. We become discouraged. We lose hope. How must the lion pride have felt as they became emaciated and watched the number of cubs dwindle to two. We might think that they are just animals but animals experience pain and loss too. I will never forget the cub who lingered by her brother’s side after he had died or the mother who left her cub in her sister’s care before she went off somewhere and died.
As a parent, I can’t imagine seeing my child starving and not being able to feed him. I can’t help but think of Hagar when she and Ishmael were sent away. The water ran out and when Hagar thought that Ishmael might die from the lack of water and food, she put him under a shrub and sat some distance from him, saying to herself. “Let me not see the death of the boy.” She sat opposite where he was and wept. It was at that moment when God intervened. He does not give us more than we can bear. He heard the cry of Ishmael and responded. He opened Hagar’s eyes so she could see the well. She drew water from it and gave it to her son. God hears our cries and He responds.
Just when it seemed like things could not get worse for the lion pride, the rain came. It was a welcome sight, seeing the big droplets as they fell on the predators. Then the wildebeest and zebra returned. Once again, the grasslands were teeming with life. God was providing for them.
These all wait upon You, that You may give them their food in due season. When You give it to them, they gather it; when You open Your hand, they are filled with good food (Psalm 104:27, 28).
When you are going through tough times, wait on the Lord. Trust in Him and in due season, He will bring you through the storm.