|Heron Pond in Winter|
Yes, chiggers. Over 150 chigger bites surfaced under the sock line on my ankle the next morning as I desperately tried to keep from itching. One other thing to note is that I am allergic to these little critters. My ankle swelled up and each bite became a blister. God definitely has a sense of humor. When Paul stated that the creation was subjected to futility not willingly but in hope... (Rom. 8:20) I am right there with him. It is the curse of these little creatures that gives me hope of a place where they will no longer bite, itch and conquer. But not all was bad. After we left the pond and found a map we expected we may have circled back around on the trail to a nearby location of where we parked. Wrong again! We were 6-7 miles away from it and it was getting into the evening. So my lovely wife, two young daughters and I trudged through a parking lot toward a highway after asking God for some assistance with a ride. We had only gone about 100 yards or so up the road when a car pulled up with a smiling face and a question on her lips. “Are you lost?” Maybe the exasperated look on our faces gave us away but we saw it as an angel from heaven. We said yes and she confirmed we were 6-7 miles away from our vehicle. But the evening had just began…
Meet Max and Sharon and their lovely granddaughters, Daniela and Olivia. This family not only gave us a ride to our car but also invited us back to their house for the evening! Sharon had cooked chili, fajitas, vegetables and many other things in advance of our meeting. It was an amazing act of hospitality and grace. We topped the evening off with Ice Cream and of course, prayer. What a wonderful time it is when fellow believers meet together for sweet fellowship in all things common to the Lord. It is my sincere desire and prayer that God will pour out His Spirit in a mighty way in the days, weeks and years to come on this lovely God-Honoring family!!
During this trip there were three things that God spoke to me about.
When we determine to be obedient to God in the purpose He has chosen us for we will always find a snake in the path
Just like the serpent in the garden confronted Eve and tempted her and Adam to sin so we must always be aware that there will be spiritual opposition to face. Satan and the world do not want to submit to God and His sovereignty which sends him into fits. So he lives to fight against God and against His children, Matt. 5:11, John 15:18-19, John. 16:33, 1 John 4:4. So too we must always be alert—ready to stand against the wiles of the devil
If we get off the spiritual path He has chosen for us we will get bit by chiggers
For a weak believer it doesn’t take long to ponder in fear the things the world throws at you before you are thinking about being quiet about your faith. But remember God never promises to grow you and bless you if you are on the sidelines. It is there that you will encounter His disciplining fatherly touch… and that is not much fun. It’s kind of like standing in a nest of Chiggers. (see 1 Peter 1:6-7, 4:12, Heb. 12:11) I remember being gospel-shy after being made a spectacle in front of other unbelievers on my work shift early in my 20’s. Like Jeremiah I determined to keep my mouth shut because the harassment and determined attacks were more than I wanted to bear, see Jer. 20:9. But I grew up fast. I stayed hard in the word and I soon was able to withstand the attacks and in the end Christ was glorified. A few years after I left that job a current employee told me after I left that one by one the shift members became Christians. What a glory it will be to see them in heaven. Standing off to the side wasn’t much fun for someone who really loved God and I could not do it for long. If you are truly a Christian in love with God you will not be able to either.
If we continue on the Spiritual Path Christ has ordained we will experience pure joy
What hinders you in trusting Him for all things and in every circumstance of every day He gives you?