Flying Hooves

 •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 6
In the mountains around Lake Leland, Washington, a mother deer sensed danger. Her keen hearing had picked up a slight rustling of branches. Her twin fawns were immediately alerted by their mother's tenseness. She turned and saw a stalking cougar many yards off. In an instant, the three deer bounded off down the mountainside.
The cougar charged and, after a short chase, knew he had missed his prey. He let out a blood-curdling scream and then followed them, using his sense of smell to track the deer down the mountainside.
With all the wariness of a wild animal, the mother deer sensed the cougar would follow them.
Her instinct told her that she and her fawns had to flee a great distance to escape the danger. The three deer zigzagged down the timbered mountain-side, sprinting and then walking. However, her fawns were becoming tired and needed to rest.
At the foot of the mountain, a few ranches were built around Lake Leland. The mother deer was wary of humans and their homes. Her instincts told her that they could be dangerous, but she sensed a much greater danger was stalking them.
The three deer came to a fenced pasture where several riding horses were grazing in tall grass. A ranch house was a short distance away from the pasture.
The mother deer leaped over the barbed wire fence, while her fawns squeezed under the bottom strand of wire. The three then went to the center of the pasture and began to graze near the horses. The mother deer must have sensed that being near the horses would provide some protection against the cougar.
Have you found a place of safety by trusting in the Lord Jesus, the Savior of sinners? The world you live in is full of real dangers. Satan, an unseen spirit, continually tries to lead souls to destruction. He does all he can to keep souls in the dark about their need of salvation so that they end up for eternity in that awful place called hell. He will certainly do all he can to keep children from obeying the gospel call for them to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus.
Flying Hooves and Dangerous Kisses Also, God's wrath against sin awaits every person who has not settled the matter of his sins with God. In His holiness, God cannot let sin go unpunished. Unless a sinner repents of his sins and flees to the Lord Jesus for safety, it is certain that God's wrath will burst in awful judgment on him. Oh, that every boy or girl who hasn't found safety by the Savior's side would "flee from the wrath to come" (Matt. 3:77But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7)) and come to the Lord Jesus at once. God's wrath is a fearful thing and a real danger. Even though He loves sinners, He hates their sins. The same God who says He "so loved the world" (John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)) says, "The soul that [sins], it shall die" (Ezek. 18:44Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)).
Each one of us can find safety in the Savior, because He died in the sinner's place. "God [commends] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom. 5:8-98But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:8‑9)).
When boys and girls come to the Lord Jesus for salvation, they will belong to Him forever. He will watch over them and bless them. He will be much more careful of them than any mother deer could ever be of her fawns.
Later that evening, the cougar, following the deer's scent, crept to the pasture. Soundlessly, he slipped beneath the bottom strand of wire in the fence. The tall grass and dusky light concealed him almost perfectly. He was creeping closer to the deer when one of the horses suddenly spotted him. With a snort and whinny of fear, the horse began to race around the pasture. Alerted by the horse, the mother deer and her fawns attempted to flee. Running as fast as she could, the mother ran into the barbed wire fence, which she hadn't seen in the darkness. The fence made a loud twanging noise as she hit it.
The whinnies of the horses and the twanging of the barbed wire aroused the owner of the ranch who was sitting in her front yard. She knew immediately there was trouble in her pasture and started running in that direction. On the way she picked up a big stick.
The owner entered the pasture through the gate and ran into the tall grass. She saw the three deer standing by the fence and the horses running. At first, she didn't know what had caused the commotion. Then she turned around and saw the cougar about fifteen feet behind her. It snarled angrily at her and let out one of its eerie screams. It sent shivers of fright down her spine and, for a moment, she didn't know whether to flee or fight.
Just then, the owner's favorite riding horse ran to where the cougar crouched. Whinnying loudly, she reared up on her hind legs with her front hooves pawing the air before they came crashing to the ground a few feet away from the cougar. Wanting nothing to do with those flying hooves, the cougar ran off into the night.
The owner credited her horse with saving her from the snarling cougar. What an amazing rescue!
Flying Hooves Everyone who has been saved by the Lord Jesus knows that they too have been rescued in a truly amazing way. They know that God, in amazing grace and love, sent His Son into this world for this very reason. The creator of the universe became a man and let Himself be nailed to a tree so that all people might come to Him and find forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Truly, nothing is so amazing in the entire world as the truth contained in the Bible verse, "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:33For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (1 Corinthians 15:3)). When He died, He bore the punishment for the sins of all those who would believe on Him.
If you have not yet been saved, won't you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Placing your faith in Him is the only way you can be rescued from sin and danger. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that [believes] on Me hath everlasting life" (John 6:4747Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:47)).
As I came home one afternoon, there in his usual spot in the picture window standing on a footstool was my Shetland sheepdog Mickey. Mickey was about a year old and as yet had lost none of his puppy playfulness. When he saw me, he got so excited that he spun around in the air a few times.
When I opened the back door, Mickey could hardly wait to get out and greet me.
Acting like a jackrabbit with springs in his legs, he jumped three feet into the air and three feet out the door into the backyard. Then I caught the happy, squirming fellow and gave him a big hug.
I knew he needed some exercise after being cooped up all morning by himself, so I decided to take him out for a walk. I also had to get some studying done, so I brought along a textbook.
We walked down the sidewalk to the end of our block, across a street, over a parkway, across train tracks, through some bushes, and into a large field next to a school. Mickey was walking by my side without his leash.
If I sat down on the grass, I knew Mickey would never let me study because he has never had any use for books. So I climbed up to the top of a set of monkey bars where I perched myself, as comfortably as possible, to read my book in peace.
As soon as Mickey saw I meant to sit still, he gleefully kicked his legs like a frisky colt and started running. Around the outskirts of the whole field he ran at full speed. Then he sat down in front of the monkey bars and looked up at me with his bright, eager eyes. He seemed to be expecting something. I thought he wanted me to praise him, so I said, "Mickey, you run beautifully; you run just beautifully." Then he caught sight of a train that was speeding down the tracks a block away. He looked back at me again. Then he started to run.
I thought he was running around the field again. I never expected what he did next. Instead of rounding the corner and coming back to me, he kept running straight for the train.
I jumped down off the monkey bars and shouted as loudly as I could, "Mickey, stop! Mickey, stop!" He must have heard me, but he chose to keep going.
I ran as fast as I could to the tracks. People in their cars waiting at the crossing saw what was happening and waved frantically, pointing down the tracks. I looked to where they were pointing, and there was Mickey... way down the tracks running alongside the train, dashing dangerously close to the train and snapping furiously at the wheels!
I couldn't believe it! My twenty-five-pound dog had challenged a Union Pacific coal train! My heart sank as I saw him snap at the wheels, and I couldn't bear to think what would happen if he got too close. Frantically I shouted, "Mickey, no! Mickey, come back!" But the noise of the train was too loud for Mickey to hear me.
I ran down the tracks, stumbling over the railroad ties. Running as fast as I could, I was still rapidly losing in the race to keep up with the train and Mickey. They got so far in front of me that finally I lost sight of Mickey. Then I lost sight of the train.
All I could do was to continue walking down the tracks, hoping Mickey would stop his mad chase and come back looking for me. Every few minutes I would stop and call, "Mickey!" in case he had wandered into the surrounding neighborhoods. Whenever I would see an object in the distance beside the tracks I would think, Could that be Mickey hit by the train and lying there? As I got closer I discovered that they were only pieces of trash.
As I walked down the tracks, the story of the prodigal son and his father came to my mind. I knew in my heart what the father must have felt like when the son whom he loved took his things and left his father's house to go into a far country. In my mind's eye I saw the father standing in his doorway watching his boy leaving home, walking down the lane which led away from his father's house. How the words must have welled up in the father's heart, "My son, I love you! Come back to me. Come back," but he was not able to call them out to his son, because he knew his son had made up his mind to leave him.
After walking half an hour down the tracks without seeing any sign of Mickey, I turned around and headed home. Mickey whom I loved was lost, and I didn't know if I would ever see him again.
God dearly loves you, too. He loves you infinitely more than I loved Mickey or even than the father loved his wandering son. When I called Mickey at first, he chose not to listen and kept chasing the train. God calls us, too, through what we read in the Bible and gospel papers, what we hear in Sunday school, and many other ways. God is calling sinners now to believe on His Son and receive everlasting life and the forgiveness of sins. It was His love for you that brought the Lord Jesus down to die for sins. But if you refuse to answer God's calling to you, all the love which God has shown to you in giving His Son to die, as far as you are concerned, will be lost love. Lost love-just think about it. You may die unsaved and go to a lost eternity, but you will never die unloved. Oh, come home to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ today!
Forlornly I walked home, across the railroad tracks and parkway, across the street and down the sidewalk where a little while earlier I had walked with Mickey. But now Mickey was gone and I walked alone.
When I got home, I couldn't help but glance into the picture window, but there was no Mickey waiting for me. I opened the back door, but there was no happy puppy prancing around to welcome me. I sat down in the kitchen and sighed deeply. How quiet the place was without him.
Then, who do you think sheepishly poked his head around the corner? Yes, Mickey! A lady in her car had found him and brought him home. I looked down at him and I got angry with him for disobeying me, and I felt like punishing him. But at the same time I was terribly glad he was safely home, and I wanted to hug the little dog. I couldn't make up my mind whether to punish him or hug him, so I did both.
My story had a happy ending, and the story of the prodigal son had a happy ending too. The son went into a far country and spent all his money on having a good time until his money was gone. All his new friends liked him as long as he had money, but when it was gone, they left him. He finally fell so low that he got a job feeding pigs, and he got so hungry he wanted to eat some of the same food the pigs were eating.
Then he thought about his father's house and how the servants there had plenty of food while he was starving. So he decided to return home and ask his father if he could become one of his servants.
When he returned home, do you think his father was angry with him? Oh, no. When his father saw him a long way off, he ran out to meet him and hugged him and kissed him. Then he ordered the best robe and shoes and a ring for his son. Then he had a feast prepared, and they all began to be merry.
This story is a picture to us of how God feels when a sinner returns to Him. You don't need to be afraid God will punish you for your sins if you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. The Bible tells us that on the cross Jesus took the punishment for all the sins of every person who would believe on Him. God is just, and He would not punish twice for the same sin. So no matter how awful your sins are, there will be only joy if you accept the Lord Jesus as your Savior.
Mickey came home and the prodigal son came home. Won't you come home to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ? When Mickey came home, I was a little angry with him, but when a sinner repents and turns to God, joy, only joy, without any feelings of anger, is the feeling of God's heart toward him. "I say unto you, that... joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:77I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)).