Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy
the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour. Resist him,
standing firm in the faith, because you
know that your brothers throughout the
world are undergoing the same kind of
sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9
Yesterday, I took a drive down River Road; a gently flowing river, yellow daisies and red and yellow Indian Blankets, trees arching over the roadway, warblers singing, egrets bathing in the sunlight. Peace!
Since moving to the Texas Hill Country, I have enjoyed observing the behavior of the variety of critters that roam freely across our landscape. I have even come to accept the unsightly buzzards lunching along the roadside. But yesterday I saw a scene that startled me, upset me, frustrated me and definitely destroyed my peace.
From a distance I saw a group of seven or eight buzzards and assumed they were gathered around a dead armadillo or rabbit. However, upon closer inspection, I saw a baby opossum, alive and standing on the edge of the grass, trying unsuccessfully to fend off the monstrous gang of black-winged attackers. I felt helpless. With no shoulder on the road, I could not pull over and scare them away. Even if I could have, they would have returned upon my departure. I drove on in tears. I do not like opossums, but somehow the visual of a tiny live critter being attacked by a group of big buzzards hurt my heart.
As the day wore on, the Lord began to speak to me about what I had witnessed. He reminded me that the attack on that opossum came because for some reason he had wandered away from his family. He lost the protection of his mother and, all alone, he became easy prey for predators. My Heavenly Father reminded me that humans sometimes exhibit that same behavior.
Too often we wander away from our natural family, our church family, our spiritual family—making ourselves easy targets for our enemy, the devil. Don’t you know that satan likes nothing more than to see us get our feelings hurt, our toes stepped on or our plans rejected. You can be sure that when we walk away, alone, we are making ourselves vulnerable to satan who sits crouched at our door waiting to pounce.
Peter reminded us to resist the devil and I would add the temptation to walk away alone. He also reminds us that whatever we are suffering or whatever is hurting our heart is felt “by our brothers (and sisters) around the world”. I am not alone. As soon as I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I became part of the largest family on earth. I will not walk away.
Are you hurting? Scared? Frustrated? Alone? If you find yourself tempted to run—resist the temptation! Instead, remember the baby opossum, and run towards the Father. Let Him surround you with family. There you will find provision, protection and peace.