The next time he saw the fat crow by the road, he stopped, looked both ways, and quickly picked it up and put it under his coat.
I heard this story as a pastor told it to a group of people high in the mountains of the country of Lesotho (located in southern Africa), who had just been baptized, they understood the message.
Once upon a time a new Christian was just about to be baptized. He had given his heart to Jesus, his life had changed, and his former friends were mad. One of them determined to do anything he could to get him to somehow go back to his old ways.
The friend knew that the new Christian’s favorite food used to be crow. He liked it boiled, baked, fried; he just loved it all. But now he didn’t think of it anymore. He didn’t hunt crows. And he didn’t hang out with his friends after a good day of hunting crows. So the friend came up with a plan, one he was certain would work.
It was baptism day, and the new Christian was on his way joyfully humming various hymns to himself as he walked along. His friend gleefully sneaked along in the bushes not far away until he quietly slipped ahead and around a corner where the new Christian had to pass. He pulled a fat, beautiful crow out of his coat and dropped it by the edge of the road. Then he slipped back into the bushes to hide.
The new Christian came humming and singing along the road. He rounded the corner, saw the crow, and kept on going without even a backward glance or a pause in his singing. But in his mind he thought, Look how God has changed me. I used to like those things.
The friend was disappointed but not discouraged. He followed along in the bushes, watched the baptism from the bushes, and decided he would try again on the way home. After the baptism the new church member was happily walking along with his new church family. They were all talking, singing, and praising God.
The friend had to be really careful this time. But he rushed on ahead in the bushes and bravely dropped the crow again. This time the new member glanced twice at it and kept going. In his mind he thought, This is strange. I never could catch those things before, and now that I don’t eat them, I have seen two real beauties.
The friend in the bushes noticed the second glance and smiled. “I will do it again. I’m going to get him yet.”
Sure enough, as he rounded the next corner, there was another fat crow. This time the new convert poked at it with his foot. His mouth was watering. He thought, Crow sure did taste good. I wonder why God says they are unclean.
He started to lag behind the group. The next time he saw the fat crow by the road, he stopped, looked both ways, and quickly picked it up and put it under his coat. His face was flushed. He was nervous. Suddenly his friend came out of the wood grinning from ear to ear.
My crow story may disgust you much more than it amuses you, since you have likely never thought of eating fat crows. Nevertheless, something else may be tempting you. I know, too, that just like the sneaky friend following in the bushes, Satan is doing everything he can to get you to sin. Peter calls him a roaring lion looking for whomever he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could guarantee that once we accepted Jesus, suddenly everything will be easy for us until Jesus comes? But you and I both know that it will not be. People fail. Mistakes will be made. We will sin. Then what?
When a baby who is learning to walk falls, do you say to them, “Don’t ever do that again! You are embarrassing! If you can’t walk, don’t bother trying anymore!” Of course not! And that isn’t the way it is with God, either.
God will never leave us alone. Remember that our God is our help (Ps. 46:1). Also remember that we can help others.
The sneaking enemy, Satan, just like the friend in the story, is dropping all the fat crows he can, not only in front of you, but also in front of your family and friends. So the next time you see someone eyeing a fat crow, try distracting them by pointing to Jesus.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8, NIV