Years ago when I worked at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona, a representative from a group came to my office to report seeing a HUGE snake lounging in front of the conference room. As the only staff member on campus, I needed to do what was necessary–remove the snake. With fear in my heart, I got the 5-gallon bucket and the pole with a pincher to capture snakes and marched on as if I had done this a hundred times.
A small group of spectators circled the snake–perhaps a highlight of the trip for a few of them. “Step aside,” I said in my most confident voice. Just as I aimed my pole at the snake, a young man reached down and picked up the intruder with his bare hands. The snake coiled around his arm and bit him. “No harm,” he said. “It’s only a King snake. They aren’t venomous.”
In Luke 10, we read Jesus had sent seventy people, in pairs to support and encourage each other, to do what was necessary to “pave the road” before his journey through the villages. He told them to travel light, not waste their time when not received in peace, and that God would go with them. They returned and reported their success. Jesus said, “I know. I saw Satan fall…. It’s not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.” (vs. 20)
After the snake ordeal, I rejoiced over God’s protection of me, through a bold young man who moved the snake and, for safe passage for the guests to continue their retreat.
Thank you, Lord, for protecting us from every assault of the “Enemy.” Amen.