“The challenge that continually comes before you is to trust Me and search for My way through each day.” (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) Lately, I’ve struggled to abide by this sentence. Let me explain:
Last week, I found a large black snake in our dog pen and reluctantly killed it because it was too close to our house. Several days later, I was called home by my wife to kill another snake, this time inside our basement where our dog sleeps. Shortly after that, I was cleaning up when another snake came slithering down the wall from another part of the same room. I’m not a particularly brave person around snakes but not seeing any other options I gathered up my courage and killed snake number three.
The next day while tending to our dog I saw yet another snake crawling down from the ceiling of the same room. This time I miss and it escapes back into the ceiling. At this point we don’t know whether to call in the exterminator or just put a “For Sale” sign in front of the house. That night, the dog is sleeping with us and we are sleeping with the lights on wondering if more snakes are going to come through the walls.
We’ve called in a wildlife expert but he can’t come for a few more days. What do we do? We’re not getting much sleep. I’ve cancelled parts of my schedule in order to be around the house more. I’m getting more impatient and moody, all because of a few snakes.
“The challenge that continually comes before you is to trust Me and search for My way through each day.” How do we trust God in the midst of snakes?
I write this because all of us face snakes of one kind or another. There is a phone call from the doctor’s office. They want to see you right away. A sleepy driver runs through a stop sign directly in front of your car. The sudden unplanned bill in the mail. The boss who chastises you. The friend who suddenly won’t speak to you. There is the sudden movement that catches your eye and out of nowhere comes a slithering snake of unplanned difficulties. First one, then another… when will they stop?
Psalm 29: “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” (11)
We don’t like to admit it but snakes do exist and they will occasionally bite. What is important to know is that God gives strength to withstand the snakes and an amazing sense of peace even in the midst of snakes. Again, “The challenge that continually comes before you is to trust Me and search for My way through each day.”
Recently I posted a question on Facebook: “Can you share how God moved in your life by finishing the following sentence: By the power of the Holy Spirit…” In just a few hours I received nearly a hundred responses. Here are a few:
- I have been healed. I sing to the glory of God!
- I can make it through each day.
- God has blessed me with a 40 year plus ministry!
- I am able to make it through the struggles in my life.
- I was able to face adversity with strength.
- I have truly learned how to forgive.
- Quit smokin. Got a job. Started college.
But the following letter written by someone whose wife is dying of cancer says it all: “One thing we have noticed over the past 17 months, is that there are never two days that are the same. We have gone through periods of intense pain. That, thank God, has been kept under control for the past five or so months. Swelling up, swelling less, blood pressure sky high, blood pressure lower, blood pressure right, blood pressure up again. More pills than I can count. Appetite has come and gone, come back again, and fades within an hour before a meal. And then there is sleep. Some days she is up before me, others not. One day of a few hours of activity, usually is followed by two or so days of mostly sleep.”
“Through all of this, her sense of humor and unlimited optimism are always there and keeps everyone who comes in contact with her going. She is definitely getting weaker, but when she’s got her energy, she wants to keep busy, and she can really go, even if only for a short time. Thank God for a great family and great friends and the support from Hospice. They are always there with encouragement, love, and friendship.”
“How she does all this and keeps us smiling? I’ll never know. What I do know, though, is that she is a strong woman with a deep and abiding spirit. I also know that I am one lucky man.”
What about you? What snakes are attacking you? “The challenge that continually comes before you is to trust Me and search for My way through each day.”
By the power of the Holy Spirit… How has God moved in your life?