The Slow Snail

Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. – John Ortberg

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I saw it there…Early this morning when I rushed to dump another bag of trash into the bins by the curb. Awaiting trash pick up and I wanted to make sure I had all the trash out before the rain came down again. The shower that came down at the wee hours of the morning was brief. Followed by just a single blinding lightning and the thunder that was long and roaring as if a giant hollered to wake up everyone sleeping. Indeed, the deafening roar  shook our house, woke up my son and startled me.

Inch by inch it tried to make its way perhaps, looking for a drier ground. I was talking about a snail. Its upper tentacles erected so high as its vision tried to see the way up ahead, a longer path he took in the cold, wet, cemented driveway.

I closed the garage door and finished making breakfast for my son and I. After an hour or so, placing his backpack straps on his shoulders, my son opened the garage door and there I was, headed again toward the big bins with another bag of trash.

I saw the snail able to make it to the mid part of our driveway, about 10 steps for me and it took more than an hour for it to reach that destination. But it kept going. Never stopping despite the hardship its slow body tried to gain for another few inches.

“What patience!” I thought to myself as I started marveling at its courageous mission to reach another destination despite the wet, cold ground and a lot of hours it would take him for what would be equivalent to only a few steps into my human capabilities.

I wondered….how long and laborious it took the snail to reach Noah’s ark…But that shouldn’t matter what hardships it had gone through. What mattered as I stared again at the slow, slimy body was that the snail reached the ark and was saved. It was not because of its patience….It was because of God’s patience…Who waited for it to reach Noah’s Ark.

And if God loves the snail, how much more with us, men, He created after His image? And no matter how difficult a man’s trek is in this place, God is still patiently waiting for everyone to be saved…The question is… “Is the pair of a man’s eyes able to see?”

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
   slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 86:15 (NIV)

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” – Romans 15:5 (NIV)

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” – Revelation 14:12 (NIV)

“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.” – 2 Peter 3:8 (NLT)
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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].