So, where am I going with this.... Well, one day I was in my front yard pulling weeds out of my flower garden enjoying the fresh air, the silence of nature and I might add, the beautiful moment I was having with God. I know you say 'what?', a beautiful moment with God?" and I would reply "Yes, a beautiful moment with God", pulling weeds in the silence of nature." Most of you might also think I am crazy with the thought of 'pulling weeds' is my type of enjoyment with God, but in my season of life, well most of my life, I love being outdoors working God's earth. It is refreshing, invigorating and most certainly I always feel a sense of accomplishment with my work when it is done. Unfortunately, this one particular day my work was interrupted while reaching down to grab some pine needles when and I encountered a snake. It was not that big, and I have encountered them a lot in my life, particularly in this line of work/enjoyment, but it became a reminder that even in God's most lovely design in nature, there slithers the snake that can and did interrupt my time with God. He is sneaky, slithering and viewed as the enemy.
Above: This is my front yard where I seek weeds and God.
Above: This is the slithering snakes hiding place.
Above: This is the slithering snake that welcomed me one morning.
In my attempt to kill the snake, I took a large tree branch laying nearby, that was after I took a picture of it, I took that branch well over head and plunged downwards only to miss the dumb snake and in the process about got my toe. Thank God, that was my prayer, that I did not get my toe. I can't believe I missed!!!!! It slithered back into the hole in which it came out of and that hole was far to deep for me to find that slithering, gross creature. I am sure it is still there.
My family and I went one Saturday morning to go pick blueberries. There was some grumbling from my clan about the time that I insisted that we leave to travel to this blueberry farm. They always think that I am over excited and overly pushy about getting some place too early. They usually thank me later for my perpetual insight into these sort of incidence of traveling early. It was a wet dewy day, early 6:30ish and there was a crowd of people at this hour, doing the same thing we were going to be doing, (picking blueberries) and of course, I have to admit, I was not the only one that had the intuition to rise early and be there at the crack of dawn to fill our buckets with blue balls. I believe in this one instance, my intuition was confirmed as NOT being crazy. We scooted back to a back area of blueberry trees to have some quiet family time and pick blueberries by ourselves. I particularly didn't want to share my morning with strangers. We all gathered around one tree, it got kind of crowded and so I moved along. I found a tree that seemed to be filled with blueberries and thought I had struck gold. I reached up to grab what I thought to be a bunch of blueberries (I didn't have my glasses on) and low and behold, I reached for a snake. See below:
He raised his head high and hissed at me. I have never seen blueberries move or hiss so, I took this as an indication that this tree was already taken, no blueberries to pick here. He blended in well, coiled up into a tiny ball of gunk, and managed to not only watch me, but all those who also entered his space to grab those tiny blue balls called blueberries. Yes, it was a reminder that I was not alone. I might have been alone with God while praying as I picked berries, but the evil was lurking around trying to steal that moment that I was encountering with God. Again, sneaky, slithering, slimy creature on earth!!!
However, if you will see my buckets below, I and that of my family managed to acquire 6 large buckets of blue gold. And oh, they were mighty tasty.
Next, during a walk, a short walk with my husband around our block, just about a half mile or so, I turned a corner and jump, out of the way of a small, rather injured snake that managed to get into my path. I could not tell if it was stunned, waiting for the kill or if it was really just injured. I told my husband to move along and informed him that I was going to jump on it to make sure it was not going to move ever again. Of course, this was not the first time he thought I lost my marbles and most certainly it was not the last. I practiced. I jumped high and landed hard. I thought this type of movement would not only stunned the snake even more, it might actually kill him. So, I planned my move and jumped on the snake. I was not sure where my feet were actually going to land, but my goal was to land on its' head so I would not get bit. I took the plunge and landed and then took my feet and pressed real hard moving my body downwards so that my body weight would squish his head into the pavement. Then I quickly jumped back off the snake to see if my work proved successful. It did. A dead snake. An "A" for the day. See below:
My heart was racing, but I felt good and sooooo glad that snake was dead. My husband shook his head and kept walking.
I kept walking too. I walked across the bridge that entered into my neighborhood and purposely stopped to gaze at the flowing water that was underneath me. It had just rained and the little creek had a bit of water that was actually moving quickly. I wanted to stop, I usually never do, and take a picture. It was rather kind of pretty with the dew on the blades of grass and the birds were chirping. What a moment. Or so I thought. As I was focusing my lens on my camera, I noticed what I thought to be a stick floating in the water, probably washed up from the storm the night before, actually as I focused my lens, saw yet another snake. See below:
I had had enough this day. I told God, I get the picture. The slithering thing is in battle with me and I need to put my armor on a little more securely. I saw the snake as the _ e v i l. I am not going to put his name in my writing as mentioned before, but if you look at his name without the 'd', you can see that it spells evil. We must know our enemy. Everyone of us must know our enemy. No matter where you are, at any time and at any place, you have a mortal enemy and he wants to take you down and destroy you. You can not escape the conflict. You have to put on your armor of God.
Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the _ e v i l, as a roaring lion,(in my mind a roaring snake) goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.... 1 Peter 5:8-9
Some of the most demonic activity in our life can be and is very subtle. They are ideas planted in our minds through the evil one. If we allow those ideas to take over our thought process, then he is winning the battle. God is good and loving. Placing those evil thoughts with love and by being alert to these schemes and in being in constant prayer with our Lord, the evil one will flee. The evil one will tempt us with doubt, accusation and he will entice us into the temptation itself. Look at Eve and how he won her over in temptation. All we have to do in moments of temptation is ask our Lord if this is what he wants and pray in His name. The evil one will do all kinds of things and maneuver situations to make us be be attuned to his ways, to be tempted and to fall into sin. Through our weakness we fall prey to the evil one and fall further away from our one true God. We can become oppressed, depressed, obsessed and lastly possessed by the very thing that slithers.
Snakes have been on my mind lately, actually not just snakes, but the continual occurrence in my encounter with them lately. I feel warned and most certainly, I am very cautious as I ponder on some of the negative circumstances and situations in my current life. I am reminded that I need to put on my full body of armor and pray unceasingly. Prayer, fasting, and adoration are my first defense and having faith that God will protect me, hope that I will surpass these attacks and love in knowing that I am a child of God and I must protect my will in choosing what is right and good and acknowledging that there is no other God greater than Him. "But with God, all things are possible." Mt. 19:26
Now the seventy-two returned with joy, saying "Lord, even the devils are subject to us in Your name." But He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall as lightning from heaven, Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the might of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. But do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; rejoice rather in this, that your names are written in heaven." Lk 10:17-20
There are many pictures above of snake encounters. There will always be instances of evil lurking in unknown places and we must armor ourselves with the Lord to guide and protect us.
Evil is out there. I get the picture, do you?