An Albino Squirrel
“I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the people
no one was with Me.” Isaiah 63:3
Do you know what it’s like to be an albino squirrel? Sally and I do, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves; let me explain. While living on our 40 wooded acres in Shiocton, Wisconsin there was born, behind our house, an albino squirrel. He was gorgeous—pink eyes, pink nose, and pink inner ears. His fir was white as snow, all the other squirrels hated him, even his parents and siblings would have nothing to do with him. Whenever he would come to the feeder the other squirrels would chase him away. That’s why we called him Phantom. He would always perform the disappearing act like a ghost and go hide until it was safe to come out. Whenever anyone or anything is different from the herd or the group, it is singled out, treated with indifference, despised and quite often abused.
Why did they hate Jesus? He lived the purest, self-sacrificing life of anybody; yet His parents didn’t understand Him, His siblings culled Him out and, I am told, He was the loneliest person that ever lived. Even His disciples didn’t understand Him, and His church crucified Him. Why?
The same treatment happened to Joseph with his 11 brothers. They actually sold him into slavery. Why? What about Saul after he became the apostle, Paul. His former friends and church became his greatest persecutors. Why?
If anyone at any time departs from the norm and takes the higher road, they are going to pay a price. Just ask Wyclif—he’s considered the Morningstar of the Reformation, when he saw the true light of God’s Word and dared to live it, teach it, and preach it, he was branded a heretic and dragged before three councils of the church of his day to recant or else. He chose the ‘or else’! What are you choosing? If you choose the higher path, the path Jesus walked, you will soon discover It is very dangerous to be right when the majority is wrong. How true this has been throughout history. It is never so true than when it reaches into your life. This holds true in corporate America, politics, society, and sad to say, the church.
It all started when I was handed a Bible and asked to open it to Daniel. I must say this is one very dangerous book. If you open it up, not only read it, but choose to fundamentally follow it your entire life, by God’s grace, through a true life of faith, you will never be the same again.
If you don’t plateau but continue to grow and your growth begins to exceed those around you, you will invite opposition—guaranteed! Just study the lives of the prophets and the reformers. Their greatest persecution came from within their religious communities.
I have found that life isn’t worth living if all I am is a chameleon to other’s expectations. Perhaps the hardest step in my life has been to live outside of others’ parameters to be who, “God has called me to be.” Now you have another battle on your hands, which is the stigma of not belonging, yet finding the power to love as though you’ve never been hurt. Fortunately, there has always been a handful that understand and want to enter into such a life.
Here are a few words of wisdom from author and poet, Rudyard Kipling, “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
Oh, I wish it was an easier path. I wish there was a magic wand that could change all this, but it is not to be. Adversity builds character or breaks you down so that you capitulate. We have tasted discouragement on multiple fronts. But God embraces you! Praise God for the embrace that draws you to Him. For He knows well the path, “For I have trodden the wine-press alone, and from the people no one was with Me” (Isaiah 63:3).
God knows that loneliness and rejection fade if, and when, you accept it as the cost of finding Him in a deeper way than if you relied upon family, friends, and the church as substitutes. I’ve learned and still am learning, that my lonely moments teach me more deeply how needy I am of Him. I’m also recognizing that, “God will supply all my needs” (Philippians 4:19).
Empowered Living Ministries
We just love to meet with God in nature!