Monday, September 23, 2013

THE FIERCE SOCIETY: PART 4

The following article is a re-print from April 2011.  I decided to include this more light-hearted word before my next post which will be more somber.     ---Billy Long


BUT THE ROOSTER WAS FIERCE

“…I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus.” -1 Corinthians 15: 32

Paul Law’s Message at the African Pastors’ Conference
The Kenyan pastors sat enthralled as Paul Law told them of the time he was surprised by the fierce growl of a lion crouching in the bushes in front of him near his missions ranch in the Congo.
He had been told that the creature had left the area, and so he considered it safe to look for the remains of a cow the lion had previously killed and dragged into the bushes. But now the threatening roar announced the presence of the beast.
Paul stopped in his tracks, and without turning his head was about to quietly give instructions to the three companions following behind him. They, however, were not there. They had already fled to the truck leaving him alone with the lion. He carefully and slowly walked backwards keeping his eyes in the direction of a possible attack. He made it safely back to the vehicle to find that the two men who reached the truck first, had jumped in, shut the doors, and locked out the third fellow who was now lying in the back of the truck in the fetal position.

The conference pastors sat on the edge of their seat as Paul proceeded to tell how he and his brother David returned later and killed the lion that had become a threat to their children and livestock. Contrasting his faithful brother with the men who had fled in fear, Paul spoke of the strength drawn from friends who stand with us in the battle and in our times of trial. It was a moving and powerful message.

When Paul finished his message, after a short break it was my turn to speak.
I looked at the group of pastors and said, “Paul Law has told you of the time he was face to face with the lion. I am going to tell you about the time I was attacked…” At this point they leaned forward to hear what harrowing tale I was about to tell. I proceeded, “I am going to tell you about the time I was attacked… by a rooster!” The audience began to mumble asking each other, “Did he say ‘rooster'?” And then the whole place “cracked up” as these African pastors all began to laugh. To them a rooster is nothing to fear. A rooster is food, not a predator. It was only a rooster, but it was fierce to me.

I was an eight or nine year old boy at the time, and to me the event was very traumatic. My Aunt Maggie’s old “flogging” rooster came charging at me jumping up trying to claw me with those sharp talons. He was not one of those little bantam roosters, but a full-grown, combative, big barnyard boss, almost as big as me. I picked up my cousin’s old rusty B B gun and used it as a bat. Every time that rooster jumped up I would swing that rifle down on his back and knock him back to the ground. I should have swung sideways and hit him up side the head, but I was too afraid to think of that. I struggled for a few minutes until Mrs Grace Gore, an elderly lady passing by, saw my plight and saved me. It was not much to brag about. I was attacked by a chicken, and rescued by an old lady, but the battle was real to me, and she was a beautiful woman on that day.

"...For if they fall, one will lift up his companion."   Ecclesiastes 4: 10
Both of the above stories illustrate our need to have brothers and sisters to stand with us as we face the issues and trials of life. But even more importantly they remind us that we should be vigilant in our walk with the Lord so that we are “there” spiritually for those who depend on us and who may need us in their hour of need. Often I have prayed, “Lord, I want to stay in that place where the heavens are open to me, and I can call upon you in faith as I pray for my wife, my children, my friends and all those for whom I am to stand in the gap. I want to be among those who pray 'Thy kingdom come,' and it represent a real force in bringing your kingdom, rather than just the prayer of rote that so many simply recite." I want to cry out to God in faith for those who are searching, serving, or suffering, and to actually encourage and strengthen them rather than locking myself in the safety of the vehicle while others are left outside to fight or die alone. We need to stand with those who face the “lion,” but we should not despise the struggle of those who face the “rooster.”

“But we don’t want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf…”  2 Corinthians 1: 8-11

Suggested reading: Ecclesiates 4: 8-12; Luke 22: 28; Ezekiel 22:30; 2 Timothy 4: 9-18; 4: 16-18

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