The feeling of being watched by a predator is suffocating.
That consuming rush of adrenaline, fear and survival mix in a moment making everything inside me take notice. Light. Shadows. Sounds. Wind. Everything in me heightens waiting and planning simultaneously. And I tighten my grip.
I’ve been out late and the parking lot is dark. The walk in was filled with a light and airy sense, spinning a quick plan of activity and normalcy. A hop, skip and a jump in. And now, the darkness has spread itself like a cloak over the area that such a short time ago seemed vibrant. Light feelings have fled and in turn this short walk seems epic. Unknowns. So much could happen here in the dark. So much lurks here. I would have to fight and I tighten my grip on my keys.
This time it isn’t the unknown that swoops over me. It is real, and it is ugly. A nest of turkey vultures has been built by one of the nastiest creatures I have laid my eyes on, and it is in the tree line at the south west corner of our land. They nurture the ugly and feed on death and just the thought turns my stomach. I mow our lawn, a little, most every day and as I near their nest they launch into flight and turn tight maneuvers over my head. Haunting and dark, though they do not touch me, they cast shadows in broad daylight that cover me entirely. Shadow over me with wings shadow six feet wide. I am intimidated but I have a job to do. I feel threatened though untouched and I tighten my grip on the wheel.
And this time is also real, though I can not see my adversary. It is not in my imagination. I am threatened, those I love are in peril, and my eyes are of no help. My plans, though important, do not predict an outcome and my fight is of utmost importance. My enemy desires nothing more than to devour everything I love, yet this time I am not alone.
“The thief comes only to steal.
and destroy.” John 10:10a
“Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil
prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
This is not a game. This is my every day life. I. Have. An. Enemy. Me? Really? And though he looks like a simple serpent in the kid’s Bible, he desires to kill me, destroy me, devour me. And mine.
I wasn’t alone in the parking lot and I wasn’t alone on the tractor. And greater still in this daily battle with enemy unseen and yet tangible, I AM NOT alone.
“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy,
I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE
And have it to the FULL.” John 10:10.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“The LORD is good to those who hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lam. 3:25-26
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes….
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything,
Belt of truth. Breast plate of righteousness.
Feet fitted with the the gospel of peace.
Shield of Faith.
Helmet of Salvation.
Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Same enemy. New day. Same God.
And I tighten my grip.