It was about 8:00 a.m. when Lebo, our tracker, gave a hand signal to our ranger. He had picked up the tracks of two lions. Dwayne, our ranger, was well familiar with this area and these lions. He is a veteran game ranger in Madikwe, South Africa. After a few hundred yards farther down the dirt road, Lebo gave another hand signal, and Dwayne turned off road. A short distance later, the land cruiser slowed to a stop as Lebo pointed out the lions. The two were stretched out and sleeping. They scarcely roused as we approached. Dwayne explained that we were a party to something extraordinary. These older lions had been ejected from their territory in a terrific fight with two younger male lions. In an unheard of occurrence, these two old timers had recouped and returned. In another furious battle, they reclaimed the territory. Bruised and battered, still licking their wounds, they were resting from the grueling combat.
We spent considerable time watching the lions and listening to Dwayne as he recounted the exploits of the ‘old guys’. It was then that I noticed the black tip of one of the lion’s tail a few inches from a beautiful flower. I immediately thought of the Beauty and the Beast. As is often the case, some seemingly unconnected events start my mind down the path of a life lesson.
Villeneuve’s traditional fairy tale, The Beauty and the Beast, carries a fascinating story line. A handsome prince falls under the spell of a wicked fairy that turns him into a hideous beast. Only by finding true love, despite his ugliness, could the curse be broken. Now, let me attempt to relate this fairy tale to the message of God’s love.
In the Garden of Eden, man fell into disobedience and sin under the awful influence of the wicked one, Satan himself. The distorting and defacing impact of sin turned man into a fallen and ugly beast inside. Scarcely had the curse gripped the heart of man, when jealousy and murder reared their repulsive heads. Adam and Eve’s son Cain killed his brother Abel. From that time to this, the curse of sin has passed on to all men. Once infected by sin, beastly men have left their bloody footprints across the pages of the scripture and across history. Tyrants like Hitler, Stalin, and even today’s ISIS exemplify the ugly beast within as they behead, rape, and torture the innocents.
As in the fairy tale, only unconditional love, despite man’s ugliness, can break the curse. God’s word informs us of an amazing transformation that can take place because of Christ’s love.
- “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
- “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
- “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” (Galatians 3:13)
- “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV)
By the grace of God, the beast can become beautiful. Do you want to become a new creature? Is the desire of your heart to see ugliness within pass away? Accept Christ’s love and He will make you into a new person.
We Can Turn From Beast To Beauty By Christ’s Love
~ Brother Roy