I see it often, living in the Texas Hill Country. With the huge population of whitetail deer, seeing one that was caught in the wires of a fence is not rare. Most of these happen in rural locations and often the trapped deer, unseen by humans, dies, still hanging in the fence.
Although I live in town, my back fence is a 5-strand wire fence with wooden posts, and beyond that fence, is pasture land. Numerous deer live out there and visit neighborhood backyards looking for food on a regular basis. It's not uncommon for me to see 20-30 deer crossing my yard, heading to the creek, every evening.
I didn't see the deer last week, when it got a back leg wrapped up in the fence. I don't know how long she was there, hanging by a back leg from the top two strands of twisted wire. This yearling deer was afraid. In fact, she was shivering with fright.
As I approached the deer, she began to kick and flop. A deer's association with humans isn't something the deer desires, unless that human is scattering food. I thought seriously about not trying to help her, because of her kicking, knowing that her hooves were sharp and could inflict injury with just one kick. I also had to consider this deer may not survive, even if I can get her leg free from its restraint.
I got close enough to pet the deer on the head and I talked to her as I ran my hands across her shoulders and down her back. Surprisingly enough, she calmed down. That gave me the time to reach up with my wire cutters and with one snip, the deer was freed. I watched her closely, thinking maybe her leg would be broken, but she raced away, using all four legs to create distance between her and the human.
She ran at full speed and caught up with the group of deer grazing in the vacant lot across the street, and started eating, and enjoying her freedom.
I tell this story today, happy that I could be instrumental in the deer's rescue. You already know I was thinking of the way we get ourselves in situations just as severe. We only have two legs, but that poor deer, hanging upside down from a back leg, showed me the picture of how desperately impossible it is for us to experience the freedom we were designed to enjoy.
We know how sin separates us from God. We also know how impossible it is for us to save ourselves, by our own merits and abilities. We allow ourselves to become ensnared and unable to escape by ourselves. That is when we cry out to God in our desperation. It was his Son, that had already paid our sin-debt while on the cross. We need his blood to wash us clean. He is our only hope for eternal life. We should be seeking his love and grace and forgiveness so we can enjoy the freedom he brings.
Our only other choice is to keep kicking and flopping, trying to pull ourselves to safety. That choice leads only to eternal separation from God. While God offers eternal life, many still make the wrong choice.
"Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15”