Psalm 66 “…You led us, God, into the snare…” 

What? Why would God lead us into a snare? That sounds cruel! Not like the behavior of a supposedly loving, concerned Father.  I’m not sure I can love a God who would do such a thing. I need an explanation.  Please help me understand, Lord. 

A pack of wolves is out on their nightly hunt. A loud snap is heard, and a yelp. A member of the pack has stepped into a snare laid by their enemy. The wolf struggles to free himself as the pack flees and a light approaches. The wolf sees the light bearer is not the hunter but a hiker.    

The hiker has been trailing the pack as he is not only a hiker but also a biologist and lover of wildlife. He is filled with sympathy for the injured, scared animal as he approaches. The wolf does not know who this man is, but he knows from past experiences not to trust men. So as the man approaches to help free the wolf, he becomes increasingly aggressive. Some pack members who initially ran off come back to see what has come of their pack member.  

The hiker’s desire to help overwhelms his desire for personal safety and comfort, so he does not turn away despite snarling and snapping. The wolf is completely unsure of why he isn’t dead by now. Usually, once the snare is sprung, death by gunshot follows quickly. But not this time. Despite the difference in behavior between this man and others, the wolf still does not trust and has increasing levels of pain.   

The hiker finally gets in close enough to try to free the trapped foot of the wolf. As he leans in to try to release the snare, the pain in the wolf’s leg increases. The wolf reacts by snapping at and finally biting the man trying to rescue him. While this would deter most men, it doesn’t deter this one. Despite his injury from being bitten, he continues working to free the maimed leg.   

The rest of the pack has now returned to see this strange interaction between human and animal. They watch in amazement, the wolf form of amazement, as the human not only endures the growling and bites of their brother wolf but, after a few minutes, frees him from the snare. The freed wolf quickly darts off, as does the rest of the pack. The hiker takes off in pursuit. 

Were it not for the snare, the hiker and the wolf would have never met. The hiker would not have had the opportunity to save the wolf, and the wolf and his pack would have never encountered a human that wanted to help, not harm. The snare changed the lives of both for the better, though injury was caused for each. There was no other way for the changes the wolf and the hiker experienced to come about but through the pain of the snare and bites.  

This is why God leads us into snares. Because He knows what is necessary to bring about the most significant long-term benefit to us and the pack He loves. He is willing to endure our bites and snarls to bring us true freedom to run with His pack to the gates of Heaven.  

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Garrett Johnson is a blogger and stylist living in MD. He joined the Arlington chapter of Courage in 2012 and has since helped establish the Washington DC and Baltimore MD chapters. He has spoken at the Courage Conference, on EWTN and at other Courage events. You can follow Garrett on Youtube and on his website

The opinions and experiences expressed in each blog entry in “The Upper Room” belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage International, Inc. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.