Bulls and bears and snipes, OH MY!
There are many things that Jeff has introduced me to, among them good coffee (I drank brown mud water before meeting him), good music (I won’t even go there, that would likely cause him to be tempted to sin, all puffed up!) and snipe hunting. He enjoyed introducing me to all these things. That’s just the kind of guy he is.
I was totally new to snipe hunting the night he and a group of his friends invited me to go along with them. They hooked each “newbie” (It would seem there were a few other new girlfriends in the group, as well.) with an experienced snipe hunter and a “catcher”. The newbie was given the stick, with which to whack the weeds and underbrush in the woods, the experienced snipe hunter had the flash light and the catcher carried the paper sack.
I was so blessed to have Jeff and one of his teachers from high school as my team. (OH SO ROLLING MY EYES HERE) 🙂 Those two dorks had me running all over the countryside trying to catch that snipe. FINALLY after quite some time, Arden (the teacher – small town schools allow students to call them by their first names, I guess) made a mad swipe and caught the snipe. Triumphantly we headed back to the bonfire, the snipe flapping about in the bag the entire way.
A few feet away from the rest of the group (who had all had sense enough to come back long before we did) the bag went WILD! Arden could barely contain that savage snipe! He began calling Jeff to help him keep his hold on the bag and within seconds, the flashlight had fallen to the ground, its beam of light shining off into the distance like some horror flick and I could hear the sound of the bag tearing. Jeff started calling out, “RUN!! RUN!! When a snipe gets loose like this, it’s bloodthirsty.”
So, run I did! I ran right into the midst of the crowd of people all waiting for us at the bonfire, SCREAMING! “Run!! Run!!” They all burst into laughter. Jeff and Arden came ambling up behind me laughing as well. Everyone was laughing but me. I was still panting from fear and the uncertainty of what I was dealing with.
You see, it turned out, I was the only new girlfriend and this was initiation night. Everyone knew that there was no danger to be had from the vermicious* snipe. They all had some inside knowledge that I did not. While they were sitting about relaxing at the fire drinking hot cider and eating hot dogs, I was literally running for my life.
I see a lot of similarities in the Body of Christ right now. Only this time, I’m sitting at the bonfire and I’m watching someone else running from the snipe, because I have inside knowledge they do not. I promise, however, I’m not laughing – smiling, yes, but not laughing. You see, watching the stock market’s crazy swings, I can’t hold back this feeling of absolute expectation and anticipation. Sweet anticipation.
The thing about snipes, of course, is that they don’t exist – at least not in northern Indiana. However, that certainly didn’t stop Jeff and Arden from building up the story of the snipe’s ferocity the entire time we were wandering about the fields looking for one. They built the story up until it was bigger in my mind than any logic. I knew that if we didn’t contain that bird, it would peck us all to bits. (In some circles, that would earn me the title “Sucker”, ya know.) 😕
The thing that makes me smile with anticipation when I see the stock market is, as the “known bottom” falls out, the Body of Christ are going to be able to see that there are no such things as snipes…that there is no reason to fear what is going on in the market. Like me, perhaps you have believed that the dollar is “almighty”. Ask yourself HONESTLY, “Am I afraid when I hear the bad news about the market?” Can you say of yourself, like the man of Psalm 112, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steady” ? Or does your heart waver inside you wondering what will befall you and your future (since your 401K or retirement funds have been affected)?
I am not pointing a finger here, BELIEVE me! I have been in that place of faltering in fear and I hated it. I. H.A.T.E.D. I.T.!! My desire here is to share Truth with you, so that you needn’t be running in fear of being eaten by the vermicious* snipe.
One major disadvantage we have experienced as American Believers is that we were not taught that when Jesus spoke of mammon in Matthew 6:24, He was speaking of a god that the people worshiped. Mammon has been speaking to the Body of Christ for a long time, convincing us of many lies concerning itself. Mammon lies about lack as much as it lies about abundance. We must be attentive to make certain that what we believe about money in this hour is Truth and not the lies of Mammon. Believe you me, Mammon makes as much noise as a bagged snipe! It will shake, rattle and bang about trying to bring terror to your heart! DO NOT LET IT!
We must instead saturate ourselves with the Word of God, that we might know who our Father is, who our Savior is and know who Christ has made us, through His death on the Cross. Once we know that, then we must, having done all else, STAND. The Holy Spirit will meet you in that place and give you the courage to be like Mr Psalm 112 and have a heart that is steady in the midst of others freaking. But you must first choose to take Father at His Word.
Jesus knew how vitally important this is. When faced with the enemy’s temptation to turn stones into bread, Jesus responded with, “Man does not live by bread alone, BUT by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” Take that “bread”, my friends, spread it with some 2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is God-breathed” and put another slice of bread from Job 23:12 – “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread” on the top. What a sandwich! 🙂 Now, EAT, my friends. EAT!
The truth is, this is an incredible time that we live in. It’s not just the Body of Christ that is being tempted to fall apart in fear. The whole world is. What a witness – what a GIFT – we have to give to them when we know our Lord and can offer them the REAL solution to the financial crisis. (And any other crisis that we may be facing.) Do you know your Father to that degree? Do you know Him as He is described in Psalm 91? Do you dwell in the shelter of the Most High? Do you know that His faithfulness will be your shield?
My dearest friends, under His wings is the only place that is safe in this day. And the amazing thing is, we have the ability to reach a terrified world and introduce them to our Savior. But, when we are running for our own life, we’re not too likely to take the time to minister the Gospel to others. THAT is exactly where the enemy of our souls desires that we be. (And I assure you that Mammon is an obedient servant to his master.) This is where being a Kingdom Family is tested. Will you believe the Word and be more focused on advancing the Kingdom, or will you let the terrors of this world hold you captive?
If we do this, then, unlike me with my friend the snipe, you will not run in terror shouting, “Bulls and bears and snipes, OH MY!” Instead, you will have the peace that passes understanding, knowing that as you love the Lord your God, He will rescue you, as you acknowledge Him He will protect you. He will delight in introducing you to all these aspects of Himself. That’s just the kind of God He is. 🙂
*Nods to Roald Dahl, and his vermicious knids. Read here for more info. 🙂