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Jumping into the Gorilla’s Cage

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I came upon this story out of Johannesburg, South Africa. On May 5, 2004 Max the Gorilla died at the age of 33. He was a celebrity because he apparently captured a criminal fleeing justice. That made me wonder, so I tracked it down.

Apparently, some fellow named Isaac Mofokeng burglarized a residence, fired a gun, and fled police back in 1997.

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Fleeing from police, Isaac Mofokeng ran blindly into the local zoo and jumped over a low wall into one of the enclosures. Big mistake. For the pen belonged to Max the gorilla, who did not appreciate the sudden invasion of his privacy. “The first thing the gorilla did was rip my jeans and bite me on the buttocks,” Mofokeng told a Johannesburg court Wednesday. “I thought my last hour had come.”

In panic, Mofokeng shot Max twice. Once in the jaw and once in the arm. Second big mistake. This only made Max more angry. Mad Max.

Max weighed 550 pounds. Two of Shakeel O’Neil and twice the power.

Mofokeng said:

“Max dropped me and I fell into the water. (He) ran around and became violent, grabbed me by my right leg, swung me around and threw me against the wall and I became dizzy,”

I thought, you know, when you jump the fence into the gorilla cage you are in a tough situation.

Life is like that. So many times we place ourselves in tough situations. Sometimes it’s financial. The ends don’t meet, and then comes an emergency. Sometimes it’s a sense of helplessness over a loved one. Sometimes it’s a health concern.

Regardless of WHAT it is, I believe God wants to use your tough situation for His glory. In fact, the greatest lives often come from the greatest troubles.

Here’s what James said:

(James 1:22) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

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