• Jason Wade


26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” 29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Numbers 22:26-30.

One of the funniest movies that I have ever watched was the movie Shrek. I remember one scene where Shrek and Donkey are going to Shrek's house for the first time and Donkey says, "we can stay up all night telling manly stories and in the morning I'm making waffles." My wife laughed at that line for days after we watched that movie. It was just something that we were not expecting but truly made an impact. I mean what does it look like to realize that there are people who live with us and know the most about us and cannot speak a word. But they know us and they love us regardless of what we think. They listen to us and in their own way they can speak volumes.

The reason that we think about this today is because of the very important message spoken in the story of Balaam and his donkey. I think that there are people in our lives that know us the most and have our best interest in hand. I believe that there are people who watch us continually put ourselves in situations that could cause us harm and they desire to really help us through these times. For some of them they are willing to take on the brunt of the pain

and other times they are willing to really walk with us and share in our journey. They are the exact people that sometimes we decide not to listen to the most. You know what I mean. It is as if their voice becomes lost in the background almost like when our parents try to tell us something and we truly believe that they just don't know what they are talking about... they don't know what's best for me. We quickly put up our walls and even though they have the best intentions for our lives, we push them out for other voices and personal decisions.

Balaam did not recognize that he was headed for imminent death. He did not realize that his donkey was the only thing that was able to see the danger and the donkey tried everything in his power to protect his master. It was only when the donkey's mouth was open and Balaam saw what lay ahead that he realized the mistakes that he had made. I really wish we were able to have our eyes opened in that way. I really wish that we were honest enough to listen and recognize the extent that our friends will go to help us get out of the dangers that may be in the very next step that we take. It is a grueling process of humility and honesty that takes time for someone to truly step into because we have been raised to protect ourselves and only rely on what we see. But what if we cannot see everything that is right in front of us, how do we realize the importance of the decisions that are about to be made?

Simple... through trust, prayer and discernment. It means that we have to begin living a life realizing that we are not walking this journey alone. We have people that know us better than we know ourselves and we must make a decision to work through this together. Balaam was going to die if God and the donkey, a life long companion, had not intervened. What is it going to take for us to truly trust God and listen to these people who love us the most? I think that is the true question that we have to answer for ourselves. Who are the people that we surround ourselves with to help make good sound decisions and allow them to step into

our trust zone? I fully believe that if we go through the journey alone, we will find ourselves headed towards the one that may be blocking our path. We have to realize that when people speak into our lives, yes we have to discern their words, but they speak to us out of love and concern. We pray that they truly mean well and want to help guide us in the right direction that leads to eternity. So if you only take one thing away from today's blog it is this, there are people that God has placed in our lives to be the voice of truth and reason. I pray that we are willing to let our pride fall down in such a way that we receive this gift from God that may truly save us from our own demise.

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