Lessons from an Otter on Doing Hard Things

You may have seen the “otter video” that’s gotten a lot of traction on Facebook. There’s a spiritual lesson here, I think. If you haven’t seen it, here’s this four-month-old pet otter who (for some reason) is being introduced to water for the first time. Please don’t get caught up in speculation about why someone has a pet otter and why the otter has never before been around water—maybe the otter was rescued and there were problems we don’t know about. (Not knowing, I’m going to assume the best, not the worst.)

So laying aside speculations, look at the video. Despite all the TLC from the owner, the otter is terrified at the sight of the water. Yes, terrified of the very thing he was made to enjoy and thrive in!

Since a friend sent it to me a few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about how sometimes we shriek at some of the very things God calls us to. Sharing our faith? Being baptized? Giving? Bible study? Praying? Adoption? Church membership? Opening our homes? Mission trips? SHRIEK!!! And then we actually do them, and we realize, like the otter, THIS IS WHAT WE WERE MADE FOR!

So, sometimes we need to just get our shrieks out of the way as God lowers us toward the water, finally just jump in that water, and discover the wonderful things God has for us!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6, CSB).

“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, CSB).

“Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7, CSB).

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3, CSB).

Photo: Pixabay

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries