The Yearling and The Redeemer

by GfG on August 13, 2010

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We finished The Yearling as our family read aloud days ago.  What a wonderful, wonderful book.  Stunningly well written.  I feel as though Jody, Penny, Ory, the Forresters and Flag have been true life long friends.  I believe I have seen Florida wetlands and can traverse them with some knowledge.  I know I have experienced a view of what God did for me in a new way.

If you want to read The Yearling with no spoilers, don’t read anymore of this post.  I’m gonna let the cat out of the bag, or the deer out of the house, so to speak…BUT this book is such a beautiful picture of God’s choosing of sacrificial love for mankind that I have to share my heart.

You see… Jody (an adolescent boy) has to choose between letting his most precious, precious possession, a deer he has raised from fawn to yearling, live or save his family by intentionally killing the deer.  Flag (the deer) loves the Baxter home and knows it is where he can find sustenance, so he eats the corn on which the family is truly dependent.

Jody’s loving father tells Jody to work hard to build a five foot fence around the field to keep the deer out, sparing his life, after Flag eats the  most important crop the first time.  Jody toils in love.  He believes it will work.  He puts his hope in the fence.

Then he sees his prized deer eating the corn a second time and clear the fence in one leap.  Jody’s heart falls and he approaches his father, knowing that there is something ominous on the horizon, but being truly unprepared for his father’s words.

“Take the yearling to the forest, tie him up and kill him.”

My heart dropped just as Jody’s did.  I had hoped right along with him that there would be some other way to ensure the family lived and the deer too.  There wasn’t.

Just as Penny, Jody’s father, knew that the fence would not keep the deer out, God knew the Law would not keep us sin free.  We hoped and wanted to do the work, though.  We still do.  So, God sent the Law.  Mankind labored and put it’s hope in the Law, yet broke it religiously.  We still do.

Sin lept right over that fence without even an effort.

The only answer was the Sacrifice.

God knew that.  He waited and watched.  He grieved over our hope in our works.  He let us struggle so we would know the truth: no amount of effort would bring eternal life.

So, He sacrificed his most precious, precious Son.  It pained Him.  It grieved Him.

He chose life for us by choosing death for Jesus.

I’m so grateful.

If you don’t know what a heart feels like filled with gratitude for such an act, I pray God draws your heart to His.

May my family’s reading of The Yearling and the discussions we’ve had as a result bring deep gratefulness of such a sacrifice and appropriate somberness of such a choice to their minds for their whole lives.

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