Wood Buffalo National Park is located in Alberta, Canada. It is approximately 17,000 square miles (the second largest national park in the world). This park was established to protect the world’s largest herd of free roaming Wood Buffalo or Wood Bison. It is common to go by both names. This is a beautiful park with hundreds of animals that roam the land. The endangered whooping crane nests here. The largest Beaver Dam was found at this park. Moose and other animals also live here. With a beauty hard to describe in words, lurks an enemy to the amazing Wood Bison, the wolf.
The larger male Wood Bison weigh approximately 2,000 lbs. A wolf commonly weighs 99 lbs. So how can a large buffalo, almost 2,000 lbs, be captured by a small wolf. This is a great metaphor for the Christian walk, because sometimes at our worst is when we our most vulnerable.
The wolves hang in packs with an average of 5-11 wolves. They work together to go after (get ready for this), the weakest and smallest Wood Bison. The thing is all these buffalo have to do to beat the wolves is just stand there and stare the wolf down. The wolf is powerless when the herd of Wood Bison stand firm. It is when the buffalo begin to run, that the wolves then have their advantage. Wolves sometimes chase buffalos for over 20 miles to find a meal for their family.
Buffalo calves and older or injured buffalo are the most vulnerable. Mother buffalo’s will do everything in their power to protect their babies from wolves, but running in snow (or other obstacles) is a deadly combination for these huge animals. The mother puts herself between the wolf to keep her baby safe. The truth is there are also baby wolves at home that are very hungry. This empowers the wolves. Either way, the wolves and the buffalo have to eat. The wolves seem to succeed when a herd is running because usually one of the animals is hurt during the stampede. While watching the PBS Nature show Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo, I remember screaming “Don’t Run, Don’t Run”. They were safe when the just stood there, but they ran and the wolves succeeded.
What does the Bible say about wolves? The Bible calls false teacher wolves. “”Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. Matthew 7:15” Bible also says “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)” Interesting that the world is described as being full of wolves.” Here is one last verse”I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock (Acts 20:29)”. God knew the destruction of wolves. He knew they were smart and that they tricked their prey into death. That is why God uses them so many times as a metaphor to warn His people or Christians, whom he describes as sheep.
Watching wolves chase buffalo is an amazing thing. You can watch this show right now on Netflix. It is hard to watch when a buffalo is caught, but it reminds me of how we tend to run from our problems and vulnerabilities. We run to bad habits, additions, things that are not good for us to try to fix our problems. We are running directly to the wolves’ den when we do not run to the Lord. Stop running and face the wolf down. Ask God to give you strength to stand firm and not run.