Hannah listened again as she heard the painful cries and barks of an animal in the woods. He must be close by she thought, because the sounds were so loud. She stilled the warning voices in her head that said, “Don’t go into the woods, you can’t help a wild animal”, and set out to see what she could found.
The yelps and barks led her to a small fox. He seemed to be stuck in a trap of his own making. He was tangled in some loose wire, that he had twisted around and around on his back paw, in an effort to get free. He lay panting and whining, looking at Hannah with big fearful eyes, too tired to do much more than bark weakly.
Hannah carefully inched forward, placing a branch between the foxes’ sharp teeth and his captured leg. She was just bending down to untangle his little foot, when a chorus of howling pierced the night. She jumped back from the fox and quickly looked around. Not fifteen feet away was a small pack of foxes. They paced back and forth, howling and crying, obviously concerned for their tangled friend.
Hannah had to smile at the family support the little fox received. He was not alone as he went through this trial of his, he had a whole team rooting for him. Hannah bent again to untangle his paw and watched as the little fox scampered away to join his family.
The truth of this simple drama came rushing over Hannah. She had never been alone either. She had always had her aunt and sister close by, sharing her pain and rooting for her to break free. Her continued anguish was a snare of her own making. It was time to put aside her selfish, self-centered moping and rejoin the human race. She had family, to get home to.
Hannah hiked through the foot of new snow, trying to find a trail that would lead her back to the main road, but everything looked the same. She was walking in circles. Exhaustion hovered over her like a swarm of mosquitoes, just waiting to land. She had to sit down and rest for a bit. She found a log that looked relatively dry and sat down, leaning her head against the base of a tree. She told herself she would only rest for a few minutes, but fatigue overtook her, and she fell into a deep sleep.
Suddenly she jerked awake, she mustn’t sleep she told herself. Her head was throbbing and a bit painful to the touch. Hannah felt disoriented and confused as she took in her surroundings. She was in her car. “How could this be, wasn’t she just sleeping in the woods?” Hannah looked at her watch, amazed to see it was only 6:20 pm. It had only been 20 minutes since she had left the church.
Everything she had been through had only been a dream, but it had seemed so real. Yet, even now she could feel the details of her dream floating away, like debris in a stream and raising to the surface was the truth of God’s Word.
“God takes the hard things in our lives and turns them to good. He loves us and provides what we truly need throughout our lives.”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
Hannah sat up more firmly in her car, glad that she had her seat belt on during the accident. Her car was still running, so she put it in reverse and backed out of the ditch. Her drivers side door was dented, but other than that, the car seemed untouched.
Hannah headed the car back down the mountain, the way she had come, as snow gently drifted down to the earth. She had a Christmas Eve dinner to get to, that she didn’t want to miss.