Recently, my husband and I went to Estes Park for a few days, to spend some time together. Upon our arrival, we very quickly noticed that elk were everywhere. These beautiful animals did not even move away from us, as we got within 10 feet to take a picture. My husband, an avid hunter, was troubled. He commented, “This makes hunting look easy, in the wild where I hunt I am lucky to see an elk, let known get within 100 yards of one. They spook so easily.” Yet, the elk we saw in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park were unafraid of humans. To be honest, I had a staring contest with the elk in this picture. Our eyes locked for at least half a minute, before I looked away.
Elk and other wildlife are protected in both Rocky Mountain National Park and the city of Estes Park. They cannot be hunted. It made me think, It is beautiful how vulnerable an animal can be when they know they are protected. It takes the fear out of their life. It enables them to trust. It enables them to grow and develop to their utmost potential, as these were very healthy looking animals. It enables them to live in peace.
As I thought more about these protected elk, I thought of the correlation with us as humans. It is beautiful how vulnerable a person can be, when they know they are protected. I think this truth is applicable to all of our relationships. Whether with a coworker, boss, parent, friend, spouse, or child…protection allows for vulnerability. It takes the fear out of the relationship and leads to trust, peace, and optimal growth.
I think this truth also applies to our relationship with God. When we know we are accepted by faith, not because of our good works, but rather because of what Jesus did on the cross on our behalf, in exchanging our sins for Christ’s righteousness, which makes us right with God. We then realize we are protected and covered by the blood of Christ. This enables us to be vulnerable with our Heavenly Father. We can be authentic about our struggles. We can seek His help and no longer lean on our own sufficiency. It is in this vulnerability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we deepen our faith, develop in the fruit of the spirit, and grow closer in our relationship with God.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 1 John 4:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18a