When you’re sound asleep at a quarter till midnight, and your 22yr. old son knocks at your bedroom door yelling for his dad, well, let’s just say the mind goes to a lot of unsettling places looking for an answer to what’s wrong. After adjusting to being awakened so rudely, we responded to his frantic rapping on the door with a somewhat annoyed, “What Steven?” I was NOT expecting his reply of, “There’s a snake at the door…inside the house…I need some help!” It is amazing how quickly those words bring you to your senses. We hurriedly dressed and rushed down stairs. Yep, sure enough, there it was…a very disturbed snake trying to get away from an equally disturbed Steven, wielding our barbeque tongs. Scott got a mop handle and joined his effort to get the critter out of the house. What ensued was somewhat reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel from an “I Love Lucy” episode. I had no idea my son had such agility? He displayed a great sense of balance as he jumped and perched on a chair while trying to lean over and capture the intruding snake. I also had no idea his voice could still reach such a high pitch.
Scott soon took command of the situation and proceeded to bark instructions while simultaneously attempting to pin the snake down with his mop. Steven had a mid-crisis epiphany. As Scott was yelling at /encouraging him to move in to grasp the snake with his tongs, Steven suddenly noticed the difference between their weapons of choice and proximity to the snake. Realizing his dad was giving him instructions from the safety of a long mop handle, compared to the relatively short barbeque tongs, Steven began to protest his part in the snake capture. Steven, at last, grabbed hold of the snake’s writhing body. As it coiled up the tongs, and also his arm, girlish cries of “it’s touching me, it’s touching me” echoed through the house. The snake would enjoy a short victory as he freed himself from the tong’s “jaws of death”. Ultimately father and son prevailed and the snake was ceremoniously ushered out of the house.
Later that night, as the adrenalin eased out of my system, I laid in bed thinking through a host of “what if’s”. What if Steven had not seen the snake? What if someone had been bitten? What if they had not caught it? What if it came back? What if there were more? Encounters such as this are startling reminders that we live in a world where “what if’s” abound and anything can happen. If I am going to sleep in the midst of my “what if’s” I am going to need the peace king David found by trusting God.
“Thou hast put gladness in my heart,…in peace I will both lie down and sleep, for Thou alone O Lord, dost make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:7-8
I like how he distinguished BOTH to lie down AND to sleep. He did not just tentatively lay back in bed with wide eyed anxiety…he totaly rested knowing God had his safe keeping