Over the decades, I’ve learned to ask more questions to avoid “surprises” – especially unpleasant ones.
Traveling to new places prompts a cornucopia of queries on matters cultural, climatic, demographic, spiritual, and possibilities for adventure.
Recently I made my first trip to the southern US. I was curious to hear about the poisonous snakes, scorpions, and other dangerous denizens I had heard were inhabiting this part of the country. The dear brother and sister who would be hosting me answered my questions with candor and humor as we drove the long miles from America’s Midwest.
After long hours of travel, we arrived at their lovely Texas ranch. We exited the pickup truck to unload our luggage.
As the garage door opened I was enveloped in the escaping heat. My attention was captured by a few bone-dry shells of dead scorpions. I knew scorpions were simply a part of life in this area of the country. However, my “awareness radar” was activated.
Before going to bed that night, I placed my shoes up off the floor. (I had heard stories of scorpions crawling into shoes at night).
Next morning, I descended the stairs to the kitchen, grateful for a good night’s rest and looking forward to the day. Within a few steps I was captivated by the beautiful view outside the windows. The slight morning humidity draped the area as though someone had slightly smudged my eyeglasses, causing the scenery to take on a slightly unfocused appearance.
Suddenly, I felt something dry and small under my bare foot! As my brain tried to process my emotions, I glanced to the floor. Lifting my foot, I saw the body of a small black scorpion.
My reaction surprised me. Though caught off guard, my heart did not race. I experienced no fear. I felt no shooting pain from a sting or burning sensation from a toxin.
The scorpion was dead.
I pointed out the corpse to my host, who simply discarded it in the trash. I poured a cup of coffee and returned to my room to read and pray and prepare for the day.
As I thought later about the incident I was reminded of three spiritual realities:
The scorpion could no longer harm me. His once powerful sting had been vanquished by death. In the same way, sin should also be counted dead to me. I was now a new creation and should count myself dead to sin.
I can live a life without fear of physical and eternal death, for one day my mortal body will cease to function; I will take on an immortal, resurrected body. Believers in the Lord Jesus can rejoice with the Scriptures that say “Death is swallowed up in victory, Oh death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting? “
Finally, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our LORD Jesus the Messiah.”
The beautiful reality of these truths is also an encouragement to continue on in our walk of faith. The very next verse tells us, “Therefore, my brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
Yes, I was grateful that the scorpion I stepped on was powerless to harm me. It had tried to enter a place that was occupied and protected.
And I realized that so am I. Even death itself need not occupy my attention. I am “scorpion proof” until my time on earth is ended and God calls me home.
Written by Jeff, LIFE Staff
What about you, dear reader?
Have you put your faith and trust in the One who gives us victory, Jesus the Messiah?
Have you experienced forgiveness of sins so that you are no longer under condemnation, but instead walk in the newness of life that is only truly found in Jesus?
If you don’t have clear answers to these questions, please contact us so we can show what the Prophets of Israel promised and how they pointed to Messiah Jesus.