Quit Looking For Snakes

The woods were cool, the air was crisp, and the smells hinted that Fall was around the corner.  My friend Jennifer and I were taking a walk in the trails at a park near our home.  She had been telling me about how sick her father-in-law had been, and how her husband had been gone for 21 days straight to help care for his dad.  I wanted to have the right words to say, and I felt the weight of her burden.  

Suddenly, I saw a neon green snake on the trail. I screamed for Jennifer to stop, but it was so day-glo-green that I assumed it must be a kid’s toy. We approached slowly to make sure it was indeed a toy, when Jennifer declared it was real – she saw it move.  We tested the “alive factor” the only way mature, adult women do; we threw a small rock close to the snake.  Again, I declared it was a toy because the snake did not budge.  I said, “Girl, I have seen lots of snakes and this has to be a toy.  I have never seen one that is glowing green and does not move.”  Jennifer was brave and apparently more ready than I to continue our walk, so she got a big stick and decided to move the snake off the path.  As soon as she lifted the snake’s body we knew, day-glo snakes live in the woods and apparently can lay perfectly still in the presence of a hysterical woman – that would be me not Jennifer. 

            As we hiked the next hour, I jumped at every stick on the path and even gasped at a butterfly that landed near my foot.  I was not enjoying God’s creation and nature.  All I was concentrating on was watching out for more snakes.  I cannot tell you if there were any wildflowers or any beautiful views on the trail.  I saw only the dirt in front of me as I was concentrating on spotting what I feared.

            This morning, I opened a new book Spiritual Warfare for Women by Leighann McCoy and read this question that Dr. Neil Anderson had asked her, “Wouldn’t it make sense that we truly worship that which we most fear?” Leighann McCoy goes on to say that our fear drives us to adjust our behavior so that we honor the object of our fear.

            I felt like I had been hit over the head with a rubber snake.  That is exactly what I tend to do in my life.  I am walking along in the dirt looking for the thing I fear instead of looking to the God of this universe.  Think of all the moments of peace and beauty I am missing by looking down at the ground for “snakes”.  I tend to worry about money, the healthy of my family, and being good enough.  Those are my gods because that is where my thoughts and worries lie.  I have honored the fear of loosing those things, and as a result, have made those things idols in my heart.

            How can I change Lord?  I don’t want to be ruled by fear.  I don’t want to spend more time thinking about my fears than I do thinking about my blessings.  I thought back to the conversation I had with Jennifer right before we saw the snake. It felt like God was not answering her prayers.  Her husband was starting his 4th week away from home, and his dad was still sick. The problems feel really big sometimes, but maybe that is the exact moment that God wants us to look at HIM and not our fears.   Today I want to turn my fears over to God.  I want to start looking up to praise God instead of looking down at my problems in fear.  How about you?  What fear do you need to give God today?

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