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One Saturday in early spring Donny and Matthew were exploring in the woods near their home. They were looking for skunk cabbage plants … not for skunks.
Following the creek, they came across a skunk caught in a steel trap by its front foot. The two boys figured the trap had probably been set for muskrats, but it had caught a skunk instead. The skunk must have been searching for something to eat in the winter’s litter that had washed up along the water’s edge when it stumbled upon the trap.
Donny decided he’d try to free the skunk, but Matthew wasn’t too sure he wanted to get involved. As Donny slowly inched his way toward the skunk, Matthew stayed up on the bank, well out of the way … and held his breath.
“Watch out,” Matthew warned, barely talking out loud. “You’re going to be sorry, Donny.”
But Donny kept right on talking gently to the skunk. He finally got close enough to reach forward and close his hand around the trap. Meanwhile, the skunk had pulled as far away from Donny as the chain would allow, never taking its little black eyes off him. The trap had caught the skunk’s front paw just above the wrist, but the bones didn’t seem to be broken.
Moving very slowly, Donny grasped both sides of the trap. The skunk stayed perfectly still, but its black eyes watched every move. Now Donny was holding his breath, too. Slowly he pressed down with both hands until the spring catch released.
Suddenly the skunk’s leg came free and it tumbled backward because it had been pulling away the whole time. It quickly got back on its feet, but just stood there holding up its injured leg. It looked at Donny for a long time and then finally turned and hobbled away. In talking it over later, Donny and Matthew both felt this was the skunk’s way of saying, “Thank you.”
A skunk might be one of the last animals anyone would want to release from a trap. In fact, most people would leave it alone. But Donny was determined to free that trapped skunk. Some people might think that they are too bad for the Lord Jesus to save — that He would rather not bother with them. But that is not the case at all. Everyone is a sinner, and it doesn’t make any difference if you are a big sinner or a little sinner. The Bible tells us, “For there is no man that sinneth not” (1 Kings 8:46). The good news is that Jesus loves each one of us so much that He died on the cross, bearing the punishment for sin. “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). No matter how bad a person you might be, Jesus loves you and will save you from sin’s deadly trap. Will you let Him save you?
The skunk seemed to show its thanks to Donny. After you are saved, it will be such a relief to have your sins forgiven and you will have such peace that you will thank the Lord Jesus for the rest of your life.