"Snake in the House!"
by Tom Stewart
August 13, 2000
The family had just settled down to sleep, when the phone rang.
The agitated voice of our neighbour announced that she had a snake in her house! "Be not afraid of sudden fear" (Proverbs
3:25). My son David and I quickly found our way next door, with flashlights,
broom handle, gloves, and the firm conviction that God was with us. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3). Perhaps you may think that we have
had previous experience to be able to answer such a call; but, the answer would be,
"Not really". I am, however, persuaded that the LORD providentially prepares
us for whatever comes our way. "The horse
is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD" (Proverbs 21:31).
Upon reaching the room, which had a sliding glass door that opened to the yard, we proceeded to begin a search for the snake behind a rolltop desk. "Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" (Psalm 144:1). Earlier in the week, late in the evening, we had heard some loud noise from the same neighbour's back yard. Someone had nearly stumbled over a snake! "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). We came running at that time, as well, only to discover a two foot long snake, without the telltale diamond shaped head of a Southwestern USA rattler. Concluding that we were not in danger, we were glad to encourage it to go on its way. "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19).
Back to the room with the snake. We proceeded to begin our search around the legs of the desk, which was against the wall in the corner. Quickly, David and I were informed that we should look higher. We saw a coiled object at eye level on top of the rolltop desk! "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye" (Psalm 32:8). Shining my light in between uneven stacks of books, I could see the familiar face of our earlier acquaintance. We knew that if we did not quickly and successfully catch the snake before it decided to retreat behind more inaccessible furniture, we could be spending considerably more time moving the furniture trying to retrieve the snake. "And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10).
Neither David nor I have any disposition to handle even the gentler of the snake species; but, David displayed great coolness under fire and reached for the tail of the snake with his gloved hand. "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1). The snake immediately opened its small mouth and made a menacing lunge towards David. Still clutching the snake's tail, David moved his outstretched arm up and down, keeping the snake away from himself. He proceeded quickly towards the sliding glass door that led to the yard, where He pitched the snake onto the grass and away from himself-- both to the relief of David-- and the snake! Satisfied that everyone's comfort level had been restored, we left. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matthew 22:39). Our neighbour thanked us-- and, especially David. I am sure that the sliding glass door will be monitored ever more closely in the future to keep from repeating the discomfort of that snake's last visit!
Readiness to do the will of God and to answer our LORD's Rapture call, "Come Up Hither" (Revelation 4:1), must be part of our daily life, if we would "be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). Like the neighbour's nighttime phone call, we must be in a continual state of preparation to answer our LORD's Rapture call, i.e., "looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God" (2Peter 3:12). Our certainty that we are among those who are "accounted worthy" (Luke 21:36) to be Raptured, should not be based upon the intellectual memory of a past profession of faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, or the emotion felt when we perceived that we had been saved, but upon the certainty that we are presently abiding in Him and His will. "And he that keepeth His Commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us" (1John 3:24). Remember, the presence and witness of the Spirit, is only to those that lovingly obey Him. "And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him" (Acts 5:32).
The assurance that we will be ready for death or the Rapture, must be according to the absolute steadfastness of the promises of God. "Whereby are given unto us Exceeding Great and Precious Promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2Peter 1:4). Only those that abide in Him, can comfort themselves in the Promises that they shall not be unprepared for their much longed for Saviour. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto Salvation" (Hebrews 9:28). You that meekly abide in His Word and His will, take comfort that He will keep you and make you "partakers of the heavenly calling" (3:1). God's faithfulness in keeping us, must be the bulwark of our service and our Rapture confidence. "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24). Then, we should not think it grievous that we should be presently and constantly abiding in Him. "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1John 2:6).
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