Through a Wall May Be Bitten By a Snake
by Lygia Lovelace
Did you know that verse was
in the Bible? It is! Ecclesiastes 10:8 says, Whoever
digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall
may be bitten by a snake.
You see, in Bible times, a
snake could easily make a home inside of a wall. These walls
were made of brick or stone, which would often crack or
split with weather changes or age or poor construction.
Mud would then be used to fill in these cracks. However,
if the house were left to split and crack without vigilant
care, then a snake could possibly slither in and live within
Oh, I've heard of many things
being found within the walls of a house, haven't you? I've
heard of such treasures being discovered like money or a
nest of dead rats or bones or old papers…but a live snake?
That sounds dangerous.
Life has its disasters, its
unpredictability. Sometimes it seems that we go from one
trial to another -- taking a roller coaster ride through
peril, disappointment, and temptation. Does life seem that
way to you?
Trouble is inevitable, isn't
it? Jesus said that if we truly follow Him, He would give
us LIFE ABUNDANTLY. But He also said that we would have
trouble in this world. Trouble.
I just want to be sure that
it's the kind of trouble that God is allowing, and not the
kind of trouble that I am causing…
Know what I mean? Listen to
these heart cries…
…But I'm just so down, so
discouraged! I'm so sick of life! I don't feel like having
a quiet time. God is silent -- I'm just not hearing anything
from Him anymore.
…But when I live the Christian
life, I just don't have any FRIENDS. I need friends, you
know? I don't think God intended for us to be lonely. I'm
sure God understands. I just won't totally live for Him
right now. I don't want to lose the friends I've finally
…Oh, I love reading the
Bible and all -- it's just that I'm busy! I don't have time
to sit and pray during any part of my day…
…What has God ever done
for me, anyway? Look at me! He has caused this illness to
occur -- this accident -- and I'm NOT having life abundantly.
He just doesn't care…
When these attitudes, these
feelings and these actions begin to creep into our hearts,
our walls start cracking. They start breaking down! Our
spiritual lives are left untended and we just don't realize
that there is a snake waiting on the other side. Spiritual
laziness or neglect is not freedom, my friend, it's oppression.
Bitterness or anger toward God is not justified…it's Satan's
plan for your life. Forsaking the Christian walk is not
"life at its fullest," it's a slow, cruel death
that causes Satan and evil to churn with laughter at the
process of your demise.
Is your wall breaking down?
Are there cracks in the mortar, in the mud and clay of your
relationship with Christ?
The first step is when that
snake moves in and lives among your walls. He is
finding nourishment and sustenance from somewhere!
And you could be totally unaware that he is there, or that
you are feeding him.
How does it happen? Subtly.
When our first two children
were small, we lived in a small, two-story home in Illinois.
The house was oddly put together. The main part of the house
(our kitchen, dining and living room, and bathroom) was
actually upstairs, while our bedrooms were downstairs. We
had baby monitors throughout the rooms upstairs so that
we could hear our two little ones at any time of day.
There was a strange man who
lived several doors down from us. We had been warned to
stay away from him, as he was potentially unstable. The
children and I prayed for him and smiled at him whenever
he would stare at us from his yard, but we carefully kept
our distance. Ken, however, tried to reach out to this man
-- to befriend him -- but without too much success.
One night I awoke in the middle
of the night and went upstairs to the kitchen. It was very
dark in the house. Everyone was asleep. I nearly dropped
my glass when I heard the strange man clear his throat loudly.
I don't know how, but I immediately knew it was him. I
began to believe that our odd neighbor was upstairs with
me! I looked around and was about ready to scream!
But then I realized that the
man's voice was coming through the baby monitor. I could
even hear him breathing! Bewildered, my sleepy mind began
searching for an answer. Where was he? Why could I hear
him so clearly?!
Then, it dawned on me that
in order for the baby monitor to be picking up his voice,
he must be in the room with the children!
I flew down our narrow stairs
and raced into our bedroom, pouncing on Ken. I kept insisting
that there was a man in our house, in the children's room!
We rushed in there, but the kids were sleeping peacefully.
We finally came to realize that the man must be outside,
at their window.
Ken ran out to talk with him,
but our neighbor ran away. What was he doing there? How
many times had he already been there, peering through our
windows watching us? We may never know. We became much more
vigilant. And we prayed.
We don't know if he ever did
that again, but we never saw him at our window again.
What is standing at your window,
staring in at you? Are you being threatened? Since we've
been in the ministry, we've been egged and paint-balled,
we've had fireworks and rocks thrown at our house and at
our windows, we've been robbed, cursed, scorned, and Ken
has even found his office broken into, with a hunting knife
at his desk, threatening his life!
The air has been let out of
our tires and our tires have been slashed…the list goes
on and on. There is definitely a cruel, evil force outside
our window. I just don't want to OPEN the window (or the
walls) and let it in.
Keep the walls of God's protection
around you. Don't step out from underneath his umbrella
of safety. Because even when the bad storm gets through
-- if you are walking with Him faithfully -- then you merely
get wet, a little soaked-through, even.
But you are not swept away.
It's true that we can actually
open these doors of danger ourselves by compromising our
walk with Him. Even neglecting our walk can bring the snake
closer, within the siding or mortar of our hearts.
And we don't want that…not
for us…not for our families.
No pit digging. No breaking
through walls. No neglect of the things of God. No turning
Snakes belong on the outside.
Are you a believer in Christ? Then the serpents may look
in, but they can't get in…not unless you weaken your resolve
and break through the wall.
Like a city whose walls are broken
down is a man (or woman) who lacks self-control.
If the Lord had not been on our
side…they would have swallowed us alive;
…the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters would have swept us away!
Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their
We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the
snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven
© 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights