One of the most fascinating things I learned that day was that the mother giraffe gives birth standing up. That means the baby falls headfirst anywhere from six to ten feet upon emerging from his mother's womb. Talk about a wake-up call!
A couple of days after our trip, I read an account of a man who was able to witness the miraculous event of the birth of a giraffe. Sure enough, the baby emerged headfirst and fell to the ground in a crumpled heap. The mother turned her head to look at her newborn and then did the strangest thing -- she kicked it hard enough to send it sprawling across the ground.
"What was that about?" the man asked in concern.
The zookeeper smiled and replied, "She wants him to get up."
Sure enough the baby struggled to rise to its feet, but its wobbly legs just wouldn't cooperate. And so, the mother kicked it again and again until finally the young one rose in triumph on unsteady legs. As he steadied, he looked to his mother, who once again kicked him to the ground.
"Why did she do that? He was standing." the man cried.
"She wants him to remember how he got up," the zookeeper replied.
As I read this account, I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. It had been one of those weeks where I felt like I just couldn't stand. And every time I was close to rising, it seemed as if something (or someone) kicked me down again. No matter how hard I tried to get my feet under me, I just couldn't find the strength to stand.
But this story made me look inside myself and ask, "How did I get up before? What helped me out of this pit last time? I know I've been down and out where I just couldn't stand, but I've always found the strength eventually. Now if I can just remember how I did it." And with those thoughts came memories of God's goodness and faithfulness in my life. And before I realized what was happening, I was not only standing, but I was singing.
When life gets you down, don't wallow in the dirt. Instead, focus your thoughts and memories on how God helped you in the past and trust that He will help you again. He, too, wants us to remember how we got up the last time. May we never forget His goodness!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. - Psalm 103:2