You know the best way to kill a snake? Well, it may not actually be the best way, but the city girl in me thinks it’s perfect—a shotgun full of number one shot. For those of you who are still city folks, that’s a load for large animals, like deer. We had a rattler once when Keith was at work, and even though I kept from freezing or panicking to the point of uselessness, I still forgot to unload the larger shot and replace it with number four, a load for smaller animals. That means when I shot that snake with that huge shot, I blew it to smithereens. As I said, I was extremely satisfied.
Well—mostly satisfied. The thing kept right on writhing. Yes, I know all about their reflexes and that they thrash about after death. But that thing was flexing and re-flexing entirely too much to suit me. So I got the .22 pistol and put a few more shots in it. Then, I was satisfied. When I picked the thing up with the tines of the rake to throw it into the burn barrel, it hung in chunks connected only with a few strings of skin—and it didn’t wiggle at all. Best looking rattlesnake I ever saw. The boys can make fun of me all they want, and laugh about it as they have for the past thirty-something years, but that snake was dead and there was no question about it.
Some of us don’t make sure the snake is dead. In fact, we not only leave it writhing, we put it somewhere for safe keeping just in case it isn’t dead after all. That’s how we treat repentance. I know I shouldn’t be indulging, so let me put it up on the shelf instead of down here on the counter top where I can see it every day. I mustn’t be that obvious about it. No! Let’s get it out of the house altogether! Whatever it is.
It doesn’t have to be a huge sin of the flesh. It doesn’t have to be a bottle of booze or a stack of pornography. Sometimes it’s a gossip-fest. I know that my friend always dishes the dirt, but I still make plans to see her every week. If for some reason I must see her, then I go with no plan for how to avoid the sin, and yesiree, it pops up and, I just couldn’t help it, Lord. You know how she talks—and how I listen.
Whatever it is, God expects me to kill that snake and make sure it’s dead. Another one may come my way, but there is really no good reason for the same one to be making an appearance over and over. If it does, I didn’t use the buckshot--I just shot a BB and missed.
Don’t cuddle up to a rattlesnake. Kill the thing, and make sure it’s dead.
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:11-14