Last weekend, we were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day. My family spent the entire day in the yard working on various projects. One of mine was raking leaves and removing debris from under what used to be a deck. I wore hiking boots and work gloves and was ever mindful of where I put my hands.
Another project was relocating a fire pit. It consisted of many stacked rocks which had become covered with leaves. I kept a shovel close by just in case.
Anyone from the Deep South can tell you why I was being so careful. Anyone from my area of the world who has spent much time outdoors, can tell you what warmer temperatures bring out. Snakes. On my particular piece of earth, it’s copperheads.
Now copperheads aren’t like rattlesnakes. They don’t give you a courtesy warning alerting you that they are nearby, and they a perfectly colored to blend in with the leaves. Whether or not they are aggressive, if you accidentally pick one up or step on one, you will get bitten.
So, I was very vigilant. I dressed appropriately. I watched for snakes. I kept something I could use as a weapon close by at all times. I didn’t stop working out of fear. I didn’t avoid my yard or creating what I wanted to create, I was simply prepared for trouble. I wasn’t overly anxious about it, but I was prepared.
As I went about my work, I was reminded how our spiritual lives are very much like my backyard and the tasks I was performing. All Christians have a common enemy who lurks in places, close by, but usually our of sight. Like the copperhead, He too, can sometimes blend seamlessly into our surroundings and attack without warning.
Yet, we are not called to fear him. We are not called to cower indoors afraid to do the kingdom work for which we have been designed. We are called to be vigilant. In Ephesians 6:10-17, the Bible reminds us that Christians are not fighting flesh-and-blood enemies. We are fighting enemies in the unseen world. It also reminds us that we can protect ourselves with the Armor of God.
We are told to protect ourselves with truth and the righteousness of God. We are told to use the gospel of peace and the shield of faith. We are told to use the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and to pray and be watchful.
We have lives to live. We have work to do. We have a loving God who offers us protection. We need to be sure to take Him up on it.
A day of yard work reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!