My morning walks had become a time of refreshment, release, and renewal. This was my time alone with God when I specifically spoke to My Father about my fears, concerns, and uncertainties in life. It had become my daily escape… with my Heavenly Father.
It was a summer morning. Even though still early, walking on the bike trail would already be hot. The heat would radiate off the asphalt, intensifying the already dry heat of the day. I looked forward to stopping and standing under the highway underpass. It would be shady and cool and often times a breeze would blow through like a wind tunnel, and there I would stop and stand. I would raise my arms high into the air. The breeze would cool and soothe me as I would surrender and praise to the Lord. It was a moment of peace for me with my Father, there in the shadows under the freeway. I would close my eyes and breathe in deeply allowing the Lord to renew my strength. Above my head was an asphalt world filled with zooming cars and people rushing through their busy lives.
Many times I would encounter God’s creatures. He would show me His animals and I would stare in awe. There were times I would not even want to move on, as I was so entranced in the moment with a certain animal. I looked forward to and treasured these times and felt God was sharing the beauty of His creation with me. I would look around at the trees and fields and wonder just what else I would see if I could see through the eyes of God. His creatures were everywhere, surrounding me as I walked along my path. I was ever so grateful every time he revealed one of His precious creations to me.
One morning on my walk and time with the Lord, something strange happened. I was walking along the bike path as I did every morning. It was a stifling hot day and I could see the heat radiating off the asphalt. I was keeping a pretty good pace. I noticed, to my right, the weeds alongside the path ahead of me were moving. As I approached this area, I was frightened to see a snake that was traveling toward the path out of the weeds headed right for me. It had the colors and markings of a rattlesnake, which are common to the area. This snake went from moving in a forward direction, heading out of the weeds along the path to a complete stop. It then completely backed up off the path, backwards into the weeds where it had just come from. It was as if it was cruising forward rapidly, head off the ground, saw me, and just completely halted and backed up disappearing back into the weeds. It startled me and stopped me dead in my tracks. What had just happened?
My life was in complete turmoil. My husband had crossed over the line, and was now jeopardizing the safety and welfare of the kids and myself. I lived in constant fear of him. If I even winced at the insane things he was doing, or proposing to do, he would get very angry and flip out at me. I feared the police showing up on my doorstep. I feared my neighbors, what they saw and what they heard, and even what they thought. I feared losing all that was precious to me. I felt vulnerable, scared, and raw. People appeared suspicious and often seemed creepy to me.
My husband was adamant in his new-found belief. He said he was willing to go to jail for it. He was a child of God, but had allowed himself to succumb to deception and darkness. His Light was becoming dim as his self-centeredness and obsession consumed him. I would seek refuge from him by taking the kids to the park. Watching my three children innocently laughing and playing, I cherished every moment of it and wondered if it would all coming crashing down like a house of cards. I was barely hanging on, day by day, asking God to give me the strength I needed to cope with what our life had become. Life was becoming unbearable.
Seeing the snake on the trail that day was a visual message for me from the Lord. He understood the depth of my fears. He knew how terrified of snakes I was. He purposely showed me a venomous and potentially deadly snake. Then, it was as if He reached out His hand, stopped it, and literally pushed it back down into the weeds, keeping me safe and clearing the path for me.
This was the Lord’s way of telling me that no matter what harm or evil was around me or headed toward me, He would keep me completely safe, just as He had when that rattlesnake was propelling toward me. And with every fear that I confronted, the Lord continually brought to mind that snake. It was a constant reminder to me that the Lord is my Safety. He is my Protector. He is my Shield from all harm.
It has been almost three years now since my serpent experience. The kids and I have been set free from the bondage and life situation we were in. I now drive on top of the freeway overpass that I spent years walking beneath. Each time I do, a peace and joy fills me as I remember where I came from, walking beneath on the trail with my God. I love the journey we are on together. I know the beauty of His creation in the fields below me, along with its dangers as I recall the seeing the snake that day. I rejoice knowing I am on a different life path now, as I continue to walk with the Lord.
The Lord is faithful and true to His Word. The snake I encountered that day on the trail is a constant reminder of His continual Shield of Safety. He is my Covering. I hide under His Wings of protection. And, I thank the Lord for my freedom. Great and Mighty is He! “For you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32
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Copyright 2014 Goldie