Accost The Snake

May 20, 2013

Earlier today my mom and I drove to the home of some good friends, a retired missionary couple, so that we could encourage them and pray for them. The man has been afflicted for a few years with a disease that has been hampering his speaking ability, and now he can no longer converse except with a computer tablet. He has continued to lose weight and recently had to have a feeding tube attached.

Though we don’t know all the reasons why the Lord allows his servants to suffer, we do know that God uses suffering to teach us and purify us. The wife brought up this exact thing to us and said that her husband had told her that he believes his trial is just that –a purification. Moreover, she said that their trial has been an encouragement and witness to many people who have been watching how graciously the husband is enduring his hardship.

My mom and I talked with them and did some reminiscing about the mighty way the Lord used them overseas and elsewhere, including how they would speak publicly and even before dignitaries. After speaking together of the goodness and power of the Lord, about faith and suffering and God’s timing, my mom and I laid hands on him and both, in turn, prayed for him aloud. We reminded God of many of His Word’s promises, such as 1 John 5:14,15: “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us –whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of Him.” We told the Lord that we are trusting Him to not only alleviate the hardship, but to heal completely, and again, we thanked Him for hearing us and for His compassion.

My mom and I sat back down on the couch that faced the patio and I said I’d like to sing two songs that we often sing as we drive to go witnessing. (They’re battle / praise songs.) So we did and the couple appreciated it. Less than a couple of minutes after the songs, I saw a large snake slither slowly up onto the cement of the patio just beyond the sliding glass door. I calmly mentioned it, and that it was only a rat snake (which are not poisonous). I got up to look at it closer and so did the others. The man and I went out as it slithered off the cement into the flowerbed. The woman chose to call the apartment gardener, who came right away with a machete, but my mom and I were already saying goodbye.

It was a bit weird seeing that snake, and I felt it wasn’t coincidence. Later in the car, I told my mom so, and we prayed about it, for I felt that being a snake can be a symbol of Satan, it almost seemed like the evil realm was making one last intimidation effort to make us lose courage and faith. But being all of us were calm about it and went out to the patio, as if to stand our ground, it almost seemed that we were declaring that the evil one could not affect us. For we had just reaffirmed to God that we were hiding in His care, trusting in His perfect will for us, and expectantly looking for His hand of mercy and healing. Any right the devil thought he had, we had together, through trust and prayer and praise, by confirming our faith in God’s Word, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, chopped up that mountain and cast it into the sea. (Matt. 17:14-21 & 21:21,22) And as my mom reminded me, the snake, though lingering for a while, had slithered off and away.

Our family is not superstitious, but we do know that the spiritual realm exists all around us. Whether or not the snake had anything to do with the evil one, it still was a reminder to me that “our struggle is… against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) And that because it is, we are to put on and continually wear “the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground… and putting up the shield of faith, extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (See v. 13,16) Including any fear, doubt, or suffering that is coming from his hand. (Luke 13:11,16)

with love,

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