Yesterday I was T-boned by fear. I summoned all my courage to cross the street and join the women, whom I know mostly, to do water exercises. With all my back pain, could I get in and out of the pool without making a fool of myself? I crossed the road and suddenly saw sitting at the foot of the column of the porch, a long black snake head raised!! I admit it, I yelled and froze in place. After a few seconds the fellow sped under the bushes and out ran a lizard. I was not going to outrun that snake even as a youth! In a few moments the director came to work and put his motorbike between the snake and me and I ooched into the building. Fear without and fear within. Late in the afternoon I went to see the cottage being rehabbed for us. There on the cement car port floor lay the snake’s twin sibling! Everyone else knows about all the black racers on our compound and know they are friendly but I did not. My day was undermined.
James 3 continues in verse 17 to say that wisdom from God is “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” I consider this my litmus test of wise advice and wise strategies. Still seeking comfort for yesterdays trauma, toay I read Proverbs 23 and finally turned to Psalm 23, forgetting that it was the classic “Good Shepherd” psalm we always quote. I reflected on the psalm in light of my snake experience. Christians equate the good shepherd with Christ and how he leads us. Psalm 23 tells me I can lie down and rest without fear of an unseen snake, be refreshed by water that does not toss to and fro unstable, be guided on the right path, be accompanied by the shepherd, be fed and anointed, and eventually enter the Shepherd’s home. Unlike my morning and afternoon walk that were T-boned by fear and caution because of perceived danger, Psalm 23 resonates with James 3 confirming the wisdom of the God who guides my paths – even when there are snakes. As you are surprised by the unexpected today, I pray you will stay grounded in the truth of wisdom that comes from above that leads to life. Blessings.