Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." - I John 4:4
It was a very hot morning – I mean one of those scorchers! I knew I had to be on my walk by 9.00am because it would reach 100 degrees that day – a rare occurrence where we live. So off I went happily listening to Pandora, Rend Collective radio in full blast. I looked forward to my walks now that I could walk further and further each day. During my recovery there were days I could not get passed the third house on my block. So as you can imagine, walking up my hill and into the adjacent neighborhood was a huge milestone. Over time it became my quiet time with Jesus. I would walk and talk with Him. It is in light of these walks that I started this blog, actually. Everyday felt like I was walking through the Garden of Eden in God’s presence: talking, listening, enjoying His company. Well little did I know that on this particular morning it would be all too similar to the Garden of Eden!
I made it to the end of the cul-de-sac before I headed back. The way there was quite safe so it never dawned on me that the return would be VERY different! I was going about my business, singing, talking to God. It is worth mentioning that in this part of the neighborhood there are no sidewalks so I was forced to walk down the middle of the road. So I’m walking when all of a sudden, from the corner of my eye, I see something. But before I could fully register what it is a car drives up to me (almost swiping my arm). Before I could get out any words to this driver, I see it! A large snake all curled up in the middle of the street! The woman in the car yells out “be careful, there’s a rattlesnake!” A rattlesnake? As I look over, there it is, curled up with its eyes wide open and head propped up. Quickly I realize I only have two options: option #1, walk around it and risk it seeing me and potentially biting me – yikes! Option #2, jump in this stranger’s car and be taken to safety - also kind of risky but at least I knew she wouldn't bite! I made a quick judgment call and asked this total stranger if I could jump in her car!
Well my girls love telling this story. They find it so exhilarating and dramatic! But as I think about it a little more, I am reminded of how quickly our reality can change. One minute we are walking along, going about our day, when all of a sudden, our day is interrupted, shaken - our path is blocked, our perspective shifted and we are left with a decision to make: panic, scream and succumb to fear or stop, think and react in a calm, trusting manner. I have to be honest; I usually do the former and not the latter. Just last week, as I shared with you all, I was called to pick up my youngest daughter, Sophie, from school because she had suffered a bad head injury. In a matter of seconds I was shaken and my whole reality was interrupted. On the morning I saw the rattlesnake in my midst, I panicked.
But you see, what matters in these situations is not how we react initially. Certainly in the first few moments you will freak out. But what you do next is what matters most. Do you stay in panic mode? Do you succumb to your fears and let it take over you? Or do you trust that everything is going to be ok? Really trust that He is going to make it ok? There is nothing “ok” about the situation. It is a bad and unfair reality you are faced with. But do you turn to Him – your Heavenly Father and say “God, I’m freaking out here, but I know You got this. I trust, therefore, I surrender my fear to You knowing You will get me through this.” This is something The Lord is teaching me. It certainly doesn’t come naturally to just stop and trust. But these situations happen so that we can learn to react in a way that is pleasing to Him and not freak out (like I confess I have done in the past).
When the woman in the car drove up to me and yelled out her window, my heart sank. Terrible things crossed my mind in that moment. But God sent an angel that morning dressed as a woman in a green Prius to save me by driving me away from that snake and into a safe zone. I have not seen this lady or this car since. I truly believe God’s divine protection came in full force that morning.
When the enemy slithers in and tries to steal your joy and totally turn your morning upside down, you call on The Lord to come rescue you and take you to safety, because let me tell you, He will!
Pray this with me today:
"Dear Lord, as we think about these situations where our morning is turned upside down and our reaction is to panic and allow fear to take over, we pray that you would help us cry out to You and trust that You will show up with great force and power and take us into your loving arms, the safest zone there is. May we hold fast to your truth 'You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.' " (I John 4:4)
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Damaris U. Avila lives with her loving husband and their two inquisitive and sweet girls. Through personal storytelling, she invites women to share and see themselves in God's story. She leads young girls through BeYOUtiful Girl Time, a sisterhood where girls are encouraged to become the women God designed them to be.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."