How The Geese Saved Me

It has been a long winter for everyone. Even though I enjoy the cold, it has been a long one for me also, not outwardly, but inwardly—a winter in my soul.

I have created little that is new for this blog for some time, instead using excerpts from the new book and other older materials. I haven’t had the energy to write or do much of anything. As winter deepened inside me, the emotional forecast was the same each day—growing depression. At my lowest point, I could barely negotiate life. Connecting to others seemed taxing, the challenges of the ministry seemed overwhelming, and the dark voices swirling inside shouted: “Give it all up.”

I almost did.

But then something saved me. 

During the last cold snap, I needed to get out and exercise, so I took a walk on a nearby country road. Sunset bled into dusk as the blood orange glow yielded to an indigo sky. The biting wind slapped me out of my lethargy, awakening me to God’s presence. I saw His beauty in the sweeping farmland, I felt His strength in the arctic chill, but I sensed His joy in the last place I expected.

I heard them honking as I approached a flooded field—a flock of geese camping for the night. The noise slowly quieted as I came closer to watch. Then I heard more honking up to my right. I wheeled around to see three more geese flying low, apparently asking for landing directions. The flock answered with a chorus of guffaws, honks, and general toots until they safely glided in. All was quiet until the same pattern repeated with two more geese flying low: more beeps, honks, and hoots. They seemed happy to see each other and eager to help. It was all I could do not to break out laughing. I sensed joy in this nocturnal convention of geese, the joy of God Himself in His creation. 

As I left and walked home, it hit me: the depression was lifting. I was slowly coming back to life. God had met me in the last place I expected.

I don’t know how or when God will meet your deep need, whatever it is right now. But one thing I do know: He will.

Even if it means honking geese.