For the last seventeen years of my career, I worked on beautiful, private property, with a meandering bayou and wildlife galore. Birds, ducks, turtles, snakes. Too many snakes! And gators. Can’t forget the gators.
We had the opportunity to see behind the scenes of trapping a gator. There was bait – usually chicken – hung from a branch that stretched low over the bayou. Once the alligator grabbed his chicken dinner, the wire attached to the chicken was tripped, and a snare held him to the ground to keep him from slithering off. Because gators can slither, y’all. I’ve seen it!
We got a call in the office one day asking if we wanted to see the gator that was trapped. Well, yeah, of course we did! This was before the days of “Choot ‘em!” from Swamp People, so we had no idea what was coming.
When we got to the bayou, we stood quiet a distance away. The property manager was getting close to the gator that was caught. Next thing I know, he “choots ‘em” between the eyes. I saw something fly high into the sky, then ever so slowly begin falling in my direction. It was part of the alligator! The blob fell a scant one half inch from the tip of my cute black pumps. Because those were the days when we wore suits, with skirts, panty hose and high heels. Yep, it was that long ago!
Gator brains. It was a big blob of gator brains.
Praise God for HIS strength. I did not run screaming and tearing my hair out yelling “Gator brains! I almost got touched by gator brains!”
Then, there was the nice lunch with the bosses. We picked up salads from a local restaurant and sat at the antique conference table. There were placemats, cloth napkins and beautiful flatware. Me? I’m good with paper plates and paper napkins. Less clean up! I was a tad bit out of my element and just a touch nervous.
And then I saw it. A bit fat green caterpillar feasting on the lettuce of MY salad. Again, praise God I didn’t scream at the top of my lungs. Because you know, proper etiquette and all.
I managed to move lettuce around on my plate, looking like I was eating. Then my co-worker caught my eye, and raised her eyebrows as if to ask “What’s wrong? Not hungry?”
With my eyes, I directed her to the THING on my plate. She promptly burst into laughter. So much for a calm, working lunch! My boss’s wife was mortified, the bosses laughed and joked about it, and in the meantime, I’m starving!
Then there was the time a rat was in the toilet…
No…No…I don’t think I can go there right now.
So, what’s the point of these stories? Because you know, I can’t just write without having some sort of Biblical application.
A couple of things:
1. You can count on slimy things coming your way. That’s just life. But God! He brings us up out of the muck and mire…
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2 NIV
2. The Lord God strengthens us when we need it most.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1 NLT
3. Remember to laugh.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 ESV
Lord God, I thank You and praise You that You are ever faithful. When we are stuck in a hard place, You lift us up. You strengthen us. And, You bring joy to life! Thank you, Lord God. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
Grace be with you,