by Sheri Schofield
My Gramma Jewell and Papa Carl loved gardening. They lived on the side of a steep hill that they terraced and filled with flowers. One day when they were weeding the garden, Gramma saw a baby rattlesnake coiled up, rattling its tiny tail.
“Carl,” Gramma called. “Come see this!”
When Papa arrived, Gramma was laughing. She pointed to the tiny little snake and said, “Isn’t that cute?”
Papa, a man of few words, calmly killed that baby rattlesnake, raised his eyebrow at Gramma, and went back to where he had been working. Cute? Was she kidding? It was a rattlesnake, for crying out loud! Its bite would be serious! There’s no such thing as a “cute” rattlesnake!
We all have another kind of snake in our lives, no matter where we live. It’s called sin. Our children unfortunately inherit sin natures like ours. But they may sometimes do naughty things in such a way that we want to laugh because it seems so cute! In our own lives, too, sometimes a sin may seem too innocent and sweet to squelch. But like that baby rattlesnake’s bite, its venom in our heart is deadly . . . even the seemingly small sins.
King David wrote, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you . . . How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:9-10, 103-10 ESV).
People who do not want to follow God, or those who claim to be Christians but who do not want to abide under godly discipline, usually hate the laws given in the Bible. But those who walk in a love relationship with Jesus discover that those laws are precious. They are sweet in our lives, for they show us the path of life and grant us freedom from the ravages of sin.
Some Christians seem to love the ways of sin. When confronted, they say, “But other Christians are doing the same thing! It’s okay!”
No. It is not okay. It is like allowing rattlesnakes to live in their gardens. Sin bites them often. It’s makes their lives miserable. They have not yet found the freedom of obedience to God. Sin has become a habit.
Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Oh, this thing in my heart is just a little sin! I can ignore it.” Thankfully, my Lord keeps bringing it up until I deal with whatever it is. As I read the Bible, the Holy Spirit shows me a better way – the path of obedience. It applies God’s cleansing antidote to sin’s bite and I am healed. I find that the Word lifts me up and rescues me from that which holds me back. The Word is sweet to me! It brings me victory. Through the Word I find supernatural strength to overcome the power of temptation and sin. It helps me keep the snakes out of my life’s garden!
Today, let’s lift our faces and hearts to the sweet, healing rain of God’s Word and let it wash us clean! How refreshing it is!
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3 ESV
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.
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