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The Baby Wildebeest

Wildebeests, a type of African antelope also known as gnus, migrate yearly in huge herds to the plains of Tanzania's Serengeti to mate and to birth their young. Also on the Serengeti Plain roam vicious predators, including the hyena. In this hostile setting a newborn wildebeest has about 15 minutes to get up and run with the adult herd. Slow starters risk becoming hyena lunch.

Discovery Channel showed film of a wildebeest giving birth on the Serengeti. Her baby barely had time to get used to breathing when the mother nudged it to get it standing. Picture the newborn on wobbly hind legs with its forelegs still bent underneath its bobbing head. Between the mother's nudging and the baby's inexperience, the newborn is worn out after five minutes of repeated attempts to stand.

Then the camera picks up a hyena approaching stiff-legged with lowered head and slightly bared teeth. The mother wildebeest bravely steps between the hyena and the baby, but another hyena appears, followed closely by a third. The mother lunges at the newcomer. Although it backs away, another skulks in closer to the helpless infant. Before long a circle of hyenas occupies the mother wildebeest while other hyenas eat the baby.

Meanwhile, spread out nearby, literally thousands of other wildebeest graze, now and then lifting their heads to watch the desperate mother attempt to fight off the hyenas. Any of them could easily help save the newborn, but not a single one does.

Satan, like the hyena, is on the prowl. He also has lots of help. If you try to stand up to him alone, you're almost guaranteed defeat--just like that mother wildebeest.

You can't survive spiritually without other Christians who support you, encourage you, pray for you, and help you grow into a strong follower of Jesus Christ. That's why, when you become a Christian, you are adopted into the family of God (Ephesians 1:5). That's why God created the church.

Our habit in today's world is to live our lives alone. To stay out of each other's affairs. To keep our distance. That's not God's way, though. He asks us to love each other and to care for each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ. We weren't made to be like all those wildebeest in the herd that stood off to the side watching one of their own get eaten alive by hyenas.

Edited from Still More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice. wayne@uyt.com




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