Faith of Our Fairy Tales #8 (Original story)
Story Scripture: …Because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
Story Saying: The ones who love you will never leave you. Even if there are a hundred reasons to give up, they will find one reason to hold on. – Unknown
Behind the Story: The very first paragraph of this story reminds me of this quote from C. S. Lewis. He said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” The little brother and the little sister could have decided to stay with their stepmother instead of venturing out into the wide world. They could have said, “At least we have a place to stay, even though we get kicked. At least, we have some hard crusts to eat, even though the dog gets fed better than us.” They could have let fear of the unknown paralyze them into staying in a situation devoid of happiness.
If we’ve lived the majority of our lives in one, small place, the wide world can appear to be very scary. But if we take heart and venture away from the familiar, we will find that there is much good to be had, much joy to be experienced, and much love to be found. The familiar may be good, but if it is keeping us from the best, it is bad. God desires for us to have the best life possible.
For a whole day, the brother and sister walked about in the wide world. They were weary with sorrow and hunger. When it rained, the sister said, “Heaven and our hearts are weeping together.” She was not too far from Scripture with this wise statement. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” God identifies with the poor and the needy. He understands those who have been mistreated, neglected, and abused. When tough times bring us to tears, God acutely feels our pain and grieves with us.
Eventually, the brother and sister came to a forest. The brother was extremely thirsty and they set off to find a brook so he could get a drink. But their stepmother, who was also a wicked witch, had secretly crept after them and bewitched all the brooks in the forest. At the first brook, the sister heard the brook say, “Who drinks of me will be a tiger. Who drinks of me will be a tiger,” and warned her brother not to drink. At the second brook, the sister heard the brook say, “Who drinks of me will be a wolf. Who drinks of me will be a wolf,” and warned her brother not to drink. Both times the brother obeyed her. But at the third brook, his thirst was so great that he drank even though his sister warned him the water would turn him into a roebuck.
When the brother saw that he was a roebuck, they both wept. Then the sister said, “I will never, never leave you.” This is God’s promise to us. Regardless of what we do, He wants us to know that He will never leave us. Even when we don’t listen to His commands that are designed to help and protect us, He will never forsake us. His faithfulness is not dependent on our actions. God cannot break His promises. Because He loves us, He will never leave us. He will be with us forever.
Another lesson we can take from this story comes from the stepmother and her own ugly, one-eyed daughter. As fairy tales often go, years passed for the brother and sister. The little sister grew up to be a lovely maiden. One day, a king discovered them while out hunting and took the sister back to his castle to be his wife. The roebuck went with them and was taken care of and ran about in the palace garden whenever he pleased. When the stepmother heard that the brother and sister were happy and well-off, she was filled with envy and jealousy. All she could think of was how to bring them again to misfortune. In the end, she was not successful and was thrown into the fire. As soon as she was burnt to ashes, the roebuck changed his shape and received his human form again. The brother and sister lived happily together for the rest of their lives.
Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? It is not Christ-like to be envious of others who are happy, or to be jealous of those who are well-off. Our jealousy can do damage to other people, but it does the most damage to ourselves. If have jealousy in our hearts, we are behaving in a human way and not following the selfless example of Jesus the Christ. If we are only striving to advance ourselves, we do not have the wisdom that comes down from above. If we are constantly thinking of ways to bring those above us down, out hearts are full of hatred and not love. Love does not envy. Love is kind.