A viper, coiled and waiting.
Sensing you, without being seen.
A subtle warning comes too late.
It strikes quickly, dispersing just the right amount of poison. The unsuspecting prey is left weak and sickened, yet able to crawl away. It lies in its hiding place, terrorized and depleted. Sadly, the injected venom emits a signal to the reptile, and it can now locate and reclaim its prize. Insidiously stalking its paralyzed victim.
Our enemy, ruler of the snake pit, pursues us daily.
He commands his brood of vipers to attack our distracted hearts and minds, flooding our inner beings with toxin. Some onslaughts are the flights of our own minds’ fancies…un-lived scenarios our psyches conjure up. Others are brutal, lived-out realities.
Either way, we’re left unfit. Our sense of purpose is snuffed out; dreams and potential are suffocated. Trepidation can overcome when we’re forced to deal with a disproportionate phobia or forced to confront what we can’t control.
A ringing phone at an unusual time, the dread of picking it up to say hello. Is there anything that sets the heart to quaking faster? Mentally preparing for words the caller may speak. Truths that may reshape and forever alter our lives. Wounds that will heal in time but leave their permanent mark of pain. Puncture marks from fangs that injected paralyzing poison.
MRI machines reveal what our flesh conceals. It’s miraculous, really. Yet panic sets in the moment that bed slides toward the small, small tube. An acrid taste on the tongue. Panicked by the method of discovery, as well as of the discovery itself.
Or climbing to dizzying heights, feeling the breath being pulled from our lungs. Wondering if we’ll have the strength to hold on if we lose our footing.
Or, me. Right now. Writing to meet my first ever deadline. Wondering what I’m doing, attempting this God-sized dream…
I’ve experienced being afraid a hundredfold, but I’ve yet to discover how to overcome it! I don’t have the answer.
I’ve reached for this aspiration, yet I’m anxious. It’s not good enough. I’m not good enough or smart enough.
I feel the serpent slithering ever closer, seeking me out. The evil one would have my veins filled with doubt and uncertainty. Even as I helplessly stare at this screen, my Savior blocks the fatal strike. I feel my Lord compelling me to type this thought.
Friends, we don’t have to be good enough. God is good enough, and He makes US good enough to carry out His plan for our lives. We just have to be willing enough. Willing enough to keep going. It has taken time and life to realize that some things can certainly be overcome and healed. Then there are those things that leave us lying in a paralyzed heap.
But, look up! Praise be to God…He sent us His Son to overcome the world and through Him, we can too! (1 John 5:3-5)
We don’t have to be good enough. God is good enough, and He makes US good enough to carry out His plan for our lives. We just have to be willing enough.
I love the poem, “Footprints in the Sand.”* Beautifully penned words of truth, it’s about turning around to see exactly where Jesus carried us through. It’s in the looking back that I see, really see, that I’ve overcome many, “now-known unknowns.” Pain. Loss. Sorrow. Addictions. Pride. Rejections. Does the list end?
It’s only in the looking back that I’ve gained the surety of Jesus’s presence in my life.
It’s in the looking back that I’ve gained the certainty of His love so I can release my uncertainties.
It’s only in the looking back that I can now say, trust Him.
When you perceive that coiled-up tormentor, have faith anyway. Remain faithful in prayer, even if you think it’s not leaving the ceiling of your room. Remain faithful to reading Scripture, even if the words evoke no feeling. Remain tenacious and intentional in your belief, even when you can’t feel a thing. Take the Sword of the Word in both hands, and sever the head from whatever serpent is chasing you down.
Because even lying in a heap, I found victory. You will, too. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Shared by: Patti Hemphill
* “Footprints” author is a debatable issue.