"Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live." 5But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god." Acts 28:3-6
I think that when reading these particular verses, it's important to notice Paul's reaction to the snake. I mean, what would you do? I know what I would do, I would scream bloody murder, run around like a crazy person and beg someone to remove the snake from my arm. Then I would panic about snake bite, possibly pass out... and on and on. But Paul didn't do any of those things. He simply shook the snake off his arm and continued about his business.
What a fantastic analogy for when the devil comes calling! What do we as Christians do when the devil starts attacking us with his mischief? We panic, we call everyone we know to start praying, we do everything we physically can to help ourselves through the situation. And then we focus on the situation ourselves, we pray about it, and we think about it so much it practically consumes us. What if, instead of dwelling on what the enemy is trying to do to us, we simply shake him off? What if we had so much confidence in God's protection over our lives that we were able to simply shake off whatever the devil was trying to do to us? My gosh, imagine what kind of testimony that would be to those around us!
I think about Andy and his lay-off time every year. Anyone who knew us three years ago would know when that moment of panic hits Andy. Even one year ago, I clearly recall having our friends over, and Andy just unloading on them, sharing his fears and doubts. Yet this year, you'd never even know that Andy spent nearly four months not working. He managed to keep himself busy, God provided any money and food we needed, and Andy continued to place his trust in the God who provides. Over four months, there was only one time where we actually emptied our bank account and were concerned about doing so- and the very next day, God provided. Every time that snake of doubt would try to creep in, Andy would shake it off and continue about his business- which happens to be His Father's business.
God is so wonderful, and I just love how every time I open my Bible, something leaps off the pages and talks to me. Thank you Lord for your ever-living Word.