The first thing to emerge is the baby giraffe’s front hooves and head. A few minutes later the plucky newborn is hurled forth, falls ten feet, and lands on its back. Within seconds, he rolls to an upright position with his legs tucked under his body. From this position he considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from his eyes and ears.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing — she swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.
When it doesn’t get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.
Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again.
She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes and they’d get it too if the mother didn’t teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.
I’ve thought about the birth of the giraffe many times. I can see its parallel on my own life. There have been many times when it seemed that I had just stood up after a trial, only to be knocked down again by the next. I believe this was God helping me to remember how it was that I got up, urging me to always walk with Him, in His shadow, under His care.
The next time you are kicked down, remember how to get back up – it was done to help you learn an important lesson.