Cracks and wounds and scars... makes for a great tale when the hurt heals..... Sometimes still while the hurt still pains! I've been telling my kids that for so long now that I think if you pulled their hair back you'd find it engraved somewhere upon the scalps of their heads. My son struts many a scar... and with a spiritual connotation behind each injured body part. We've seen Jesus in each wound and have learned a valuable lesson from them all. My kids think a lot like their mother (oh my! so sorry!)... we can behold Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in every mole-hill around us. We all bleed. We've just learned not to waste the blood, and see Jesus' blood that's shed when ours does.
Here is an old wound of mine and the lesson I learned from it:
I was 6. A show-off. And we had company. I had an audience! So, show-off I planned to do... and show-off I did.
Our company's name was Pat. A college age girl. She had come to spend the day with us. We had a farm with horses, cows, ducks, two ponds (filled with Bass, Brim and Catfish) and a creek on 276 acres of land. I assumed that it was my job every day to investigate every square inch of it. I had a pony named Buck, and he was the back that I rode on to trek the fields and woods and waters that belonged to us. We were a team, Buck and I. I rode him bare-back; "because saddles were for sissies." And I could ride him with a bridle or without one... either way, it didn't much matter to me.... one was just as easy as the other.
We had a stallion named Poco that we kept penned in a different pasture. He hated the ponies! And all the taunting that we did, it did nothing but grow his hatred for them. We (my cousin and I) would get on our ponies, back them up to Poco's fence, then whistle as loud as we could to get Poco's attention. Poco would look up from the grass he’d been eating with ears perked up and eyes held wide with wonder... until he saw the ponies! Then his ears would automatically fly back and downward and he'd take off toward us in a run filled with fury. We wouldn't move until he was almost on us; then we'd smack the backs of our ponies with the switches that we'd picked, and take off running as fast as their little legs would carry them. Looking back on it now, it was a mean game that we played. It wasn't fair. We felt safe, because of the fence that kept him barred on his side of it. It wasn't smart. I've seen him almost kill more than one horse, after he had bared his teeth into their necks and slung them back and forth and back and forth until finally someone was able to stop him. I watched him kill a colt that way. He latched his teeth in his neck and furiously shook him to death. He was mean when it came to other horses. He wasn't one to be messed with!
We took Pat (our company) to the "the back pasture." She was scared of horses, so she walked as we rode along beside her on ours. After a long day of showing her the creek and all kinds of things that we thought would impress her, we headed back home. I'm not sure what made me do it... but no, that's not really true; actually I know exactly what did. Like I've already stated, I was a show-off, and here was prime opportunity.
NEVER were we allowed to have the ponies and Poco in the same pasture. (Ah, for obvious reasons!) But when I looked to see where he was on that particular day he was all the way on the other side of the pond. A long way from us... and surely there was no way that he could catch us. So, I did what I ought not to ever have done, I proudly stepped foot into Poco's pasture. I figured that between me and Buck that we could out run him anyway. We took off running as fast as we could, running through Poco's pasture headed home. Poco saw us almost immediately. He had legs rippled with muscles that ran like lightning, and he took off putting them into action. We hadn't gotten very far at all before he caught up with us. His eyes and ears were mean... and without even looking you could just feel his face of fury! Once he caught up to us Poco lunged his neck with his furious look to take a bite out of Buck's hind-end. Only he missed. And bit into mine! His teeth were clenched so tightly that he literally snatched me up off of Buck's back and was running with me slinging in his mouth. I'm sure it would have been a winner on "America's Funniest Videos" - a six-year-old show-off held by her fanny between the clenched teeth of a stallion as I was being carried from his mouth at furied speeds in his race... while still chasing after the ponies. He didn't carry me too far before he turned his head (I'd call it God's grace!) and dropped me off to the side to keep from running over me. To top it all off, he landed me square in the middle of a pile of cow manure. I'm assuming exactly where I deserved to have landed.
Pat scooped me up with a horrified look (after she found herself brave enough to come out of her hiding place behind her tree), and picked me up to carry me home to my mama. We both were crying by the time that we got there. My showing-off proved to show more than I meant for it to! And "Owwww! That hurt!" I was a little thing, and Poco's bite was massive! I still have the scar that proves it. Kind of like discipline scars from the paddle on the hinny, you know? Whoopings that hurt - and that definitely left their impressions! One of those lessons that you'll never forget! I learned a hard one on that day on Buck's back in Poco's pasture.
But you know, I had no business taunting Poco over and over at the edge of his fence for all those times that I did it. I had no business ever even getting as close to his fence as I did. Ever! And I definitely had no business opening the gate and placing my foot inside his pasture! I knew better, but did it anyway. Of course, I'd get caught! What was I thinking?
I've thought a lot about that incident over the years. Because woe, at the picture it's shown me! For one, Don't be stupid! The enemy is not one to be messed with! Yet often we'll back our hinnies up to the enemy's fence to see just how close we can get to it. We'll whistle to get the enemy's attention. And then run like mad when the enemy comes after us. When we have no business playing that close to the fence of fire in the first place. Play with fire long enough, and you're pretty much guaranteed to get burned by it. Then often after we do, we'll whine from the scars left from its burning... when we have no one to fault but our own.
Satan is creative in his scheming. And on another day years past that one, I taunted the enemy at a fence of another kind. No doubt, all the while that I was playing the enemy, the enemy was baiting me without my even realizing it. The enemy knew that I liked the game I played.... and I'm sure that he knew that it was only a matter of time before he had me. Once I stepped into his pasture, he came flying with mouth wide open, and once clutched between his jaws he ran miles and years with me before God finally forced him to let go. And a "Pat" in this world helped carry me Home to Him at the foot of His cross and at the throne of His Grace until all my wounds could heal. And though the wounds don't hurt now like they did then, I still have the scars as a reminder of where I've been, because of all the wheres that I let my sin take me.
Where (or What) is the fence that you've been getting too close to? And you know better! Flirting and whistling for the enemy? Thinking that you won't get bit when he gets close? Or perhaps you've already stepped into his pasture, and you're dangling now from the grip of his bite? It can be a whole manner of sins, for the enemy comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and colors and flavors... fitted perfectly to your individualized taste and interest. We feel safe in our flirt with the thing..... yet the enemy grins and knows that it's only a matter of time till he has us!
First Peter 5:8 tells us to, "Be self-controlled and alert, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." There was nothing "self-controlled" or "alert" in either thing that I did... and I knew the enemy was prowling and couldn't wait to devour me.
Of course the picture above is not a picture of Poco nor of our moment on that day. But that face could of been Poco's, it’s exactly as I remember him. What would make a 6 year old on a less than half-sized pony feel safe enough to step foot into such a mean-spirited stallion's pasture? What makes us feel as if we're the one that'll be able to handle the giant? That we won't become addicted? That we won't get caught by the thing? That we won't get hurt? It won't happen to us? It just a flirt. It won’t become more. !!@!!????
An alcoholic never plans to become one. A drug-addict didn't figure that he'd ever be addicted. The adulterer would have told you that he never would. The one addicted to pornography was only taking a peek. The thief wasn't planning on doing it again. The gambler thought he'd stop with his win. The murderer hated the man, but never planned to really kill him. The embittered was falsely wronged, why should he have to forgive the one that hurt him? The liar started with the little "white ones." The imprisoned................................
And the list goes on...............
I don't know, perhaps the lesson here is to be careful where you put your hinny and where you step your foot? Or maybe it's "Don't be stupid!" Because we have no business playing with the enemy! The enemy we're messing with is prowling around looking for us.... and he wants to devour and eat us up.
Second Corinthians 2:11 lets us know that Satan tries to outwit us and tells us that we are NOT unaware of his schemes. We know the enemy we're flirting with and often we think it's fun or it's funny, and we're enjoying our play with it. In 11:3 of that same book we're warned that the serpent's cunning way schemes to deceive us as he did Eve in the Garden, so that we'll be led astray from our "sincere and pure devotion" to Christ. Why would we mess with something that might take our devotion from our Savior?? There is nothing that the enemy is not willing to use to do it. We're told in Second Timothy 2:26 that the devil has a trap set for us in order that he might take us captive to do his will. Just as God has a "will" for us... so does Satan. Why do we play with the trap that is planned to captivate us to do it?
Woe, at the trap! Maybe sometimes we're fooled by the bait that is used to lure us, but I think most times we're just entranced by the game. For some weird reason, we like the danger of it.
Swinging helpless from the jaws of a furied stallion is no fun. It's no way to live! And it's excruciatingly painful! Landing in a pile of manure is no better! And then, the time it takes to heal.. and the scar that it leaves ISN'T WORTH the stupidity of it!
Hmmm??? Shall I leave you with what I learned from my experience in Poco's pasture? "Don't be stupid! Stay far away and from and out of the enemy's pasture! The enemy's after you. And that's a stupid one to fall for!"