by Majetta Morris
After a long day of sightseeing while driving from Jackson Hole, WY, and through Yellowstone Park, we sat in a long line of cars waiting, patiently waiting, for a large herd of bison to decide which side of the road—not the middle—they wanted to occupy! We were only about ten miles from our motel at the northeast entrance. At first it was interesting to see the bison up close and personal as they moseyed between the cars until several cows, then bulls, decided to take up residence in the middle of the road. We waited and watched.
It was scary to watch people get out of their vehicles and move in close to take a selfie with a bison. Bison are dangerous! They weigh 2000 to 3000 pounds and can quickly turn on you. This is an extremely dangerous time of year because they are mating—bulls do not want you interfering with their ladies! And the mammas do not want you interfering with their babies! Just a few days before in that area, a man on a motorcycle was killed when a bull gored and trampled him.
But, we sat and watched. You could distinguish the difference between old and young bulls. On the side of the road, old bulls pawed the ground kicking the dust threateningly at the young bulls and us. The females meandered onto the road and some bulls followed. The females flirted. The bulls bellowed and postured. A couple year-old calves cavorted back and forth across the road and in the fields on both sides.
We sat for thirty minutes inching no more than a car-length or two on the two-lane highway. Two or three cars made three-point u-turns to try other exits. Since our reserved motel was only four miles outside the Northeast Exit, we had to wait. It was getting dusky with the sun setting behind us. We became concerned the motel might give our room away because this was a busy time of year and we were late! And we waited. Another five, then ten minutes more.
As anxiety rose in my heart, I cried out to God, “Lord, you control all things. You know our time schedule. You know the bison and what is happening. Father, I ask that you move the bison off the road so we can all go to where we need to be.”
The bison immediately began to move. The ones on the roadway walked off. The ones next to the roadway on either side turned around and proceeded back into the fields or up into the hills. Within three minutes, the roadway was clear. Within five minutes, the long lines of cars on both sides of the road moved at regular speed on to their destinations.
A portion of scripture came to mind. Although it is out of context, the words fit so well. James 4:2c ESV says, “You do not have, because you do not ask.” We had sat there for forty-five minutes to an hour—just sitting!—while we could have been resting in our room and getting some good dinner just because we did not ask. It was late when we checked into our room in this small Montana town. There was nothing still open to obtain dinner, so we ate ramen noodles! Why? Because we had not asked! We waited and did not ask! As soon as we asked, God moved the bison!
How many times do we simply wait and stew in our juices, without considering asking God to help us, to assist us. Just waiting! God sees and desires to help us, but He waits for us to ask.
(Side note: Our experience happened on August 5, 2019. On August 22, Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News showed a news clip of a bison stampede happening at the exact location where the above occurred. Several vehicles were damaged. My daughter said she recognized a couple of the bulls that had been right outside our vehicle. God’s mighty hand gave us protection!)
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