Recently I experienced a dove fly into my window. When she didn’t move for awhile I went outside to check and found she had knocked out her eye when she hit.
I thought I would gather her up. I moved slowly hoping not to startle her. She lay in the grass about a foot off the wall, then suddenly flew up from the ground and hit the window again with a thump and fell to the ground. I was so startled, then … out of nowhere … swoosh … a large predator swooshed down between me and the wall, grabbed the dove in its talons and flew away leaving a flurry of feathers. I couldn’t tell if it was a hawk … or maybe an owl. It happened so fast.
The predator must have been watching that dove. Waiting. When the dove flew up, hit the wall, and fell again … the predator knew now was the time to grab his breakfast.
It was an incredible thing to experience so closely. But the whole thing made me think so much about how our Enemy, Satan, lays in wait for us … predator!
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NIV
Temptations, suffering, problems, come … as ways Satan hopes to break our trust in our God. Satan’s evil in the world isn’t because the fallen angel desires to hurt you. It’s to cause you to turn from trusting God. And he will wait until the perfect instance to sweep in and carry you away! Sounds a little gloomy, but here’s the good news. The Lord has promised to help you in these attacks.
“Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps His promise, and He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, He will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 GNT
In The Lord’s Prayer, we pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” (Matthew 6:13 NIV) we often mistakenly understand that to imply that the Lord does lead us into temptation (or trials, or difficulties) sometimes. But Scripture is clear, God tempts no one! “For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.” (James 1:13 NIV). And God does not send trouble! “For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:33 NIV) A better understanding of how we should pray is, “do not allow us to be led into temptation.”
So be careful for the predator! He would love to bring trouble to your life and turn your eyes, h from your Lord! But Jesus has said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33 NIV) He loves you so much and when troubles come … look to and depend on Him alone!
Larry M. Dentler – CBC Executive Board member