Now that my blood pressure is normal again, I’ll share my story.
While I was minding my own business, participating in an online writing critique group, a predator snuck onto my deck. At the end of the meeting, my friend, Jean, mentioned she planned to create a blog post and a video about the serpent in Genesis three.
As soon as we finished, and without my contacts, I headed toward the deck. The storm door hadn’t been closing properly, so when I saw something stretched across the horizontal metal piece in the middle of the door, I thought my husband had placed weather stripping there.
“How tacky! I’ll ask him to get rid of it when he gets home.”
When I moved one step closer and put my hand on the storm door handle, the three-feet-plus-long “strip” moved, turned its head downward, and stuck its forked tongue out at me.
I’m pretty sure I invented a new dance step and uttered a guttural sound of disgust before I yelled, “What are you doing here?”
I took pictures through the glass for identification purposes because I planned to prosecute and have Hubby Hero execute the rascal. Split-second thoughts flashed: “Don’t kill good snakes,” they say. “We need good snakes,” they say.
Well, THEY are welcome to have this “good snake” in THEIR yard, IF in fact, he IS a good snake…IF there is such a thing.
Would you like to know how tenacious the creepy thing was? I closed the back door and banged on it as hard as I could. Then I opened the door just a tad and peeked out to see where he went, if anywhere. He budged not an inch! Did he not hear me pounding on the door?
Next, to add more slither points, he faced left and began to crawl back over his own body. Ew, ick, yuk! I slammed that door shut!
Whew! Deep breath. Danger averted. Down, blood pressure. Down, I say.
Knight-in-shining armor hurried home on his trusty steed, aka green work truck, and urged the hideous intruder off the deck with a long piece of metal conduit. Sir William (his first name) reminded me of his warning–my birdhouses would attract snakes. (Why is he ALWAYS right?! Don’t I get a turn?) 🤣
The black snake (identified later by his line-up mug shot) was there all along, stretched across the storm door. God knew; I did not. I thanked my heavenly Father for the protection of the glass and the last-second realization that I should stop. (If I’d gone onto the deck, I might have suffered a heart attack or broken my leg jumping off the deck. It could happen.)
When I calmed down, I remembered Jean telling us at the end of the meeting she planned to work on her video and blog post about Satan, the Garden of Eden serpent. As she spoke–at that very minute–a serpent sat on my door. Shudder, shudder. The comparison repulsed me.
Jean’s topic and my experience—what a parallel.
God spoke two messages into my heart.
- Jean spoke of Satan slithering in snake-like fashion, waiting for an opportune moment to strike when we are either unaware or wandering, perhaps into deliberate sin. The scaly reptile I saw approached in silence to a place I never expected his kind to appear. Keeping our eyes on God helps us stay alert to the uninvited, cunning schemes of the evil one. The Bible compares Satan to a roaring lion:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.1 Peter 5:8
Although this verse warns us to be watchful, we are not to fear our enemy. Believers in Christ can state with assurance,
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.1 John 4:4 b
- The second lesson: proper correction provides clear vision. Without my contact lenses, I almost opened the storm door and gave that snake a free ride. That action would not have ended well. God’s Word serves as vision correction for our lives. Through Bible study and prayer, the Holy Spirit sharpens our focus on God’s wisdom. When we converse with Him and read the words He inspired, we’re better prepared to make wise choices and stand guard against the uninvited enemy of our souls.
Due to my experience, I have a visual representation in my memory—not one I cherish—of our enemy, the devil, who lies in wait. However, my friends, there’s no need to fear. When we as believers look to God, He sharpens our vision with His Word. What an encouraging truth!
The snake is gone, but the memory is fresh.
God is faithful.
How has God protected you? Do you have a scary experience to share? A snake story, perhaps?
Bible verses are from the NKJV.
37 thoughts on “Who Invited You?”
I do not like snakes of any kind. I am scared of them and can’t imagine finding one in the house. We live in the Lowcountry of SC and there are snakes, alligators and more creatures. I wrote a children’s book about lizards. But, I don’t want to write one about snakes. haha! Yes, the serpent(evil one) lies in wait and is ready to pounce. We must put on the full armor of God for protection.
I’m with you, Melissa. I was thankful the creature was on the outside of the storm door. Yes, the armor of God is our protection. Thank you for including that important point.
Years ago, we had a snake on our back door as we were about to enter from the carport. It was lying along the ridge horizontally with its head on the doorknob. Fortunately it was a non-poisonous snake, about 2 feet long, so I used a stick to lift it off the door and onto the ground away from the house. (Having studied snakes in college, I’m not afraid of non-poisonous snakes, and my husband has learned to trust me on it.)
Next time you see a snake, if it has round pupils, it’s harmless. (Hahaha! True, but most people don’t want to get eyeball-to-eyeball with a snake to check.)
Good illustration, Jeannie, about how sneaky the devil is about lying in wait. I’m thankful the snake was on the outside of the door and you were on the inside! I’m also thankful that God has power over all evil spirits and welcomes us to call on Him to be our rescuer.
Right you are, Glenda, about not wanting to get close enough to examine a snake’s eyes. Hahaha! Yes, how thankful we are for God’s protection from our enemy. I appreciate you, faithful reader.
I must add an exception to the rule! The coral snake has round pupils and it IS POISONOUS!! But the others have slits for pupils.
And this only holds true for snakes native to the USA. Don’t apply the round-pupils-harmless-snake in other countries around the world. (Okay! Enough about snakes already!)
Glenda, that’s good to know for travelers! Thanks.
I hope I never meet a coral snake. Yikes!
Well said, Jeannie. I’m glad you were able to turn your experience around and bring something good out of it.
Thanks, Lori. For the first few minutes the experience seemed totally negative. God always has lessons for us, doesn’t He?
Wow, I love this post. And even though I share your disgust for snakes, I visualized the entire scene though your perfect descriptions. Now I have a reminder to be prepared for the enemy that lies in wait. And my God is faithful. So beautifully written.
Deborah, your words are encouraging. Thank you so much. The post was fun to write as I recalled the incident, although I shuddered at the memory. God always teaches us and works good from bad.
I had a similar experience last week. When I came back from my morning walk with our dog, I noticed above one of our crawl space vents was a black snake curled up. It must have been at least 4 feet long. I ran inside (thank God the dog did not see it) and called for my husband to come down from the office and remove said snake! He went out and with a large stick tried to get it to come out but it went back into our crawl space!! I almost cried but my husband insisted that it is harmless and it is good for removing bugs. I am still creeped out by it!
Doreen, I empathize with you! Seeing them in or near our home is creepy. I hope God gives you peace from your husband ‘s assessment. Thanks for sharing your assessment.
Great wisdom in your words Ms. Jeannie. Remind me to share with you my harrowing snake story one day. I’ll give you a hint. It landed with a “thud.” 🙂 Satan does indeed lay in wait each day for any semblance of prey. We must remain vigilant and guard against his silent, sneaky, slippery moves.
I love your use of “silent, sneaky, slippery moves” to describe the way Satan operates. How thankful we are that God is far greater. I’d love to hear your snake story, but no upclose pictures please. 🙂
I’m sorry this happened to yo, but it sure gave us a good laugh and lesson. I’m glad my video could inspire you. 😂
Your last line made me think of the future for that serpent of old! “The snake is gone, but the memory is fresh.” One day our old nemesis, the serpent Satan, will be gone forever. We will live forever with God in peace, and he will be a distant memory. 🙌
Thanks for sharing this story and great Truths!
Love you! And wishing you a snake-free day!
Thank you, Jean. What a good point you make that one day Satan will no longer harass us. Jesus is the Victor! I’m glad for the laughter, too.
What an entertaining picture you painted of a scary encounter. My husband informed me this morning that there was a dead snake by the mailbox . I hope today’s mail can wait until he gets home. Dead or alive— I say no to snakes!
Deanna, I say no to snakes as well, dead or alive. Our spiritual enemy creeps in sometimes when we least expect a visit. May we be vigilant to use the armor God provides for protection. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
Jeannie, what an experience! And what a clear reminder of Satan’s presence in our lives. Thank you for sharing.
Jeannie, you had me laughing and amen-ing as I read your excellent post. But why are you talking to a snake? Lol. Love your lessons:
“Keeping our eyes on God helps us stay alert to the uninvited, cunning schemes of the evil one…proper correction provides clear vision…God’s Word serves as vision correction for our lives.
And yes, I have a snake story:
One day in early summer I reached down and threw the garage door open and a slew of snakes rained down on me! I guess they liked hanging out inside the warm metal door as the sun beat on it. – I almost died. I’m sure the neighbors hear me for miles. (Who knew I could reach such a pitch?) And yes, I’m still traumatized.
Rachael, your snake story wins! I cannot imagine the trauma of that event. Your comments encouraged me. Thanks so much for sharing.
Haha, Deanna. You made me laugh, but being surprised by a snake is no laughing matter, is it? I’m sure you’ll agree, saying no is important when our enemy, the devil, tempts us.
Thank you for commenting, June. Yes, the memory of a snake on my door is a powerful reminder of our enemy who seeks to devour us.
Whew! What a frightening experience!
Thank you very much for the great word picture reminding us that as believers we can look to God for wisdom. We need not fear the sneaky enemy.
It WAS frightening, Kimberlyn! You are right there’s no need to fear our enemy. Thank you so much for commenting.
Jeannie, Wow! How vivid the picture you painted with your “show, don’t tell ” illustration! I, too, hate snakes and want them nowhere near me. They terrify me. Several years ago I was raking leaves out of a flower bed. When I had raked enough in a pile, I scooped some of the leaves, so I could put them in the wheelbarrow beside me. Something felt strange in my hands. I looked down to see a snake writhing among the leaves. The leaves, snake, and I all scattered. Me? Into my house! The work in the flower bed waited a few days, until I could gain courage to resume my task. The analogy to satan is very true. He sneaks in where we least expect him. My takeaway is to be diligent in avoiding him even more so than avoiding snakes. Thank you for sharing this beautifully written devotion. You’re a wonderful writer, and I enjoy everything you write, even if I don’t leave a comment. Love you lots, sweet cousin!
I can’t imagine your snake story, Evelyn! Yes, I agree we are to diligently avoid temptations that Satan presents as we keep our eyes focused on God who is greater. Thank you, for reading and commenting.
Ironic that you and I have snake-at-door stories in such close proximity – close in span of time and too-close for comfort for mine and your terrified hearts! GREAT analogies! Thanks for sharing the lesson you learned.
Right you are, Julie! I’m thankful we both survived. God doesn’t waste anything, does He?
Okay, your story is horrifying! I hate snakes so much! One time I was walking with friends in college. We were walking up this big hill and as we came to the top one of my friends yelled, “Snake!” Well, I freaked out because I didn’t know where it was and I didn’t know where to run to. In my haste to get away I almost stepped on it. *Shiver* You have to first know where your enemy is before you can fight it – or run from it!
Josie, I didn’t include photos because so many people, like you and me, shudder at the thought of snakes. Your story is scary, too. I appreciate your comments and especially like this sentence: “You have to first know where your enemy is before you can fight it – or run from it!” We know who our spiritual enemy is and we also know our God is much greater. That brings comfort, doesn’t it?
Jeannie, I love how God uses everyday occurrences to speak His love over us and reminds us to trust in Him.
Thank you for sharing!
Dawn, I love that, also, that we can notice Him throughout our day. Thanks so much for commenting.
A good snake to me is the one coiled up and as flat as a pancake on the driveway. Apparently, my dad ran over him with the car without knowing! He was probably a foot long though. Not your monster snake.
Your post inspires me to be on the look out for the monster, and this week I understand a tactic he may be trying to use against me. No more victory for him by Christ’s power and grace!
Katy, I’m glad your snake story wasn’t as scary as mine, and I appreciate your comment. I like the way you addressed our spiritual battles with this statement: “No more victory for him by Christ’s power and grace!” When we are weak, He is strong.