A Baboon, a Donkey, and Me
Jack knew how to put trains on the right track. In nine years of work he never missed a track switch as locomotives drew near the Uitenhage, South Africa, station, indicating by their whistles the direction they were to go.
Jack was also a chacma baboon. He was cared for by railway signalman James Wide, and Jack in turn took care of James. Wide had lost both his legs in a fall between moving rail cars. He trained Jack to help him with tasks around the house and soon Jack assisted him at work also, learning how to respond to the incoming trains’ signals by pulling corresponding levers for their tracks.
The Bible tells of another animal that helped someone in a surprising way—Balaam’s donkey. Balaam was a pagan prophet serving a king who intended to harm Israel. As Balaam was riding his donkey en route to assist the king, “the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth” and it spoke to Balaam (Numbers 22:28). The donkey’s speech was part of the way God opened “Balaam’s eyes” (v. 31), warned him of imminent danger, and kept him from harming His people.
A railway baboon? A talking donkey? Why not? If God can use these amazing animals for good purposes, it’s not at all far-fetched to believe He can use you and me as well. Looking to Him and seeking His strength, we can accomplish more than we ever thought possible.