Follow The Leader

November 12, 2013
by Joel Jongkind

I had to come up with a children's story one Sunday, and I had trouble finding a suitable subject. I agonized over it all week. I thought; I prayed; I checked some of the reference books I have; and still I could not come up with anything.

Then early one morning, I went outside to feed and care for my pigeons and chickens as I do every morning, and my children's story flew right over our house: about fifty Canada Geese flying in their typical V formation. When I saw them fly over, preparing to go south, I marvelled again at how they find their way. They go such long distances to areas well south of here. The children's hymn that Sunday was "He leadeth me", and I knew right there and then that I had my story for that Sunday: "Follow the leader".

In the autumn, we see a lot of birds congregating and getting ready to make the long trip. Sometimes, the going is easy, but there are also all kinds of dangers along the way. They have to go through storms and turbulence; they have to escape predators and avoid power lines.

I think geese are amazing birds. They mate for life, and both the goose and the gander will sit on the eggs until they hatch. Together, they will look after their young brood until they can fend for themselves. When they brood here, there are quite often a dozen or more young ones swimming in the bay, with one adult leading and the other bringing up the rear. When they are migrating, they almost always fly in a V formation. The leader position is rotated, since flying in front consumes the most energy. And thus they are led to their destination, through storms and danger. One time in Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada, a single goose left behind was unable to find its way. I've been told that for a goose to migrate, it must be taught the flight path by its parents.

And that is the way it is with us as well. We, too, go through storms in our lives; there are also dangers along the way; and we cannot go alone either. We have family and friends; we have fellow believers at the church; and above all, we have God and His Son Jesus to lead us along the way and to bring us to our destination.

The Bible tells us that in whatever situation we find ourselves, "Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me." (Psalm 139:10 NKJV)

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (NKJV)

In all the difficult situations in our life, when we go through those deep valleys …

    Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
    Nor ever murmur nor repine,
    Content, whatever lot I see,
    Since 'tis my God that leadeth me.

           He leadeth me – Joseph H. Gilmore

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many times when we need Your guidance in our lives, and we pray that You will always be with us and lead us, every step of the way. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great devotional Joel. Thank you.


    Thanks Joel for the inspiring thoughts.


    Thank you for a beautiful lesson. Blessings.


    Dear Joel;
    Well said! God bless you.


    I enjoyed your message Joel – very interesting!
    Blessings to you and yours.


    Lovely Joel! I am sure the children enjoyed your insight about “following the Leader”. Continued blessings!


    Good morning Joel, Your devotional was heartfelt and wonderful, most comforting and true. Just splendid. Thank you.


    Nice going there Joel. Wonderful commentary on the the birds and best of all the reference to that lovely hymn He leadeth me.


    I loved this homily today! Thank you so much for it, and may God and His
    Spirit continue to inspire you for our benefit. Blessings.


    Hello
    Such good news about what is seen, and what you have learned. Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, I agree with you, He leadeth us through all circumstances! Our Guide never wanders off the strait and narrow path. Jesus has set before us a true haven of rest.
    (USA)


    Joel, I loved your devotional. You see, I was living at the other end of the Canadian geese migration in Palm Desert, California. We know that the birds reach their destination, although the way is rough.
    Just like the geese, we know, through faith, that although our path may have been difficult through this life, we will reach our destination in Heaven to be greeted by our Saviour and Lord. What a glorious thought!
    May God bless you.


    Good Morning Joel;
    I found your message quite interesting and was unaware that ganders help incubate the eggs. I farmed for years and the Canada goose was always around especially in the spring and fall. One fall a lone goose hung around long after others had migrated. It flew in each morning into the field near by where geese had been shot earlier. After the snow came it would come into the bunk silo to eat kernels of corn. I always thought its mate had been shot and had stayed back hoping to find it. It didn’t return near Christmas.

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