As our family has been back in North Carolina now for about a month, dozens of things continue to arise each day that make me think “wow, this is so different than life in Mexico.” One of those small “wow” moments being my daily runs.
In Puerto, I would never venture out for a run without my sidekick in hand- a nice big ‘ol rock. Street dogs in Mexico are everywhere and can’t be trusted. So, as all the locals do, you grab a rock and use it when necessary. Even with my sidekick in grip, I would still be on the lookout, watching my back, just to make sure one wasn’t looming around the corner.
As I laced up my running shoes in Wilmington and hit the road, I was certain that dogs were behind me. For the first few runs, I constantly turned down my music, confident that I heard loud barking and they were out to get me (a little paranoid, I know!)
In the middle of one run, I jumped because I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Lo and behold, it wasn’t a gnarly street dog, but instead a group of cute little ducklings huddled together trying to cross the street. I think because this sight was so different than what I was used to over the last 7 years, I slowed down and lingered longer, watching them.
My very first thought was, where was their Mama? Six little ducklings huddled together, looking a little scared, with no mama or daddy duck in sight. But as I glanced around, across the street, there they stood, with eyes completely locked on their babies. I sensed that if I were to run at their little ones, they would do whatever it took to defend them. They stood tall and confident, almost proud, with eyes never leaving their childrens’ sight.
As I watched them for a few more seconds before jogging on by, I couldn’t help but think how this scene reminded me of our caring and ever-present Father.
So often, we are faced with new or different life seasons or situations that make us a little (or a lot) uncomfortable. Life can be really challenging, in a variety of ways, for many different reasons. Sometimes, God does give us more than we can handle and we feel at the end of ourselves. Yet, He is always near. He is always present. His eyes are forever locked on His children. He will do whatever it takes to defend his precious ones. He will not let the enemy harm them.
As I finished up my run, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelming gratitude. The current daily struggles and challenges that I’m facing are still there, but I was reminded once again through some sweet little ducklings, that our faithful Father sees us, watches us, and will forever protect His own.