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Face to Face with a Bobcat

The other day I was invited to a quiet retreat at the home of a dear friend. It was an uplifting and constructive day for me. I spent the entire retreat time sitting on her back porch overlooking the beautiful garden and pool. There was wind, rain and sunshine…a perfect day with our Lord.

Earlier in the day, one retreat-ant told about a rabbit she saw down by the pool.She made the distinction that it was very special because it was not a bunny—yousee those every day in these parts. In the afternoon, as I sat pondering thewonder and blessings of God in my life, I caught a glimpse of an animal of somesort strolling down by the pool. I could only see the tips of its ears and Iwondered if that could be the rabbit my friend had seen earlier. I had to findout.

I wandered down to the pool and looked around the hedge expecting to see a largerabbit, but staring back at me was a wild bobcat. I quietly moved away, and afterI thought I was far enough from his sight I started running back toward the house.I went to find our retreat hostess to inform her of our intruder. I didn’teven have the word bobcat in my mind; I only knew I had seen a dangerous andferocious beast on the grounds. She looked into my eyes and listened to the beginningof my explanation and finished my sentence while I searched for the words todescribe the beast I had encountered. She knew that I had seen her bobcat. Theneighborhood has hired some wildlife specialist to take care of the bobcats.Traps are set and decisions regarding their best relocation have been decided.She told me the bobcat was more afraid of me than I was of him. I went back tomy safe place on the porch and she went down by the pool to make sure he wasgone.

This experience reminded me of the way we are told to deal with Satan. God knowsHe is there. He is on it. He has a plan to get rid of him once and for all. Hehas a place for him and he will put him there in the right time. In the meantime,God tells us how to not be afraid of Satan and how to co-exist while his presenceis a part of our reality.

1 John 5:18 tells us, "We know that anyone born of God does not continueto sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harmhim." I didn’t need to be afraid of that bobcat who disturbedmy beautiful day with God. I was safe. He just looked scary, but really I scaredhim off before my friend could get down there. He knew I was bigger than he wasand he wanted to get away from me as soon as he could. I could have gotten tooclose and aggravated him; then he would have felt provoked and may have triedto harm me. But, my size alone was intimidating to him.

Sometimes we put too much focus on Satan. He is real. He is mean. He is out todo us harm. All of that is true. But he has little power over us. We have powerthrough the one born of God—Jesus Christ. He is keeping us safe from theevil one. He will not let him harm us if we do what he says. Don’t provokehim. Don’t go after him. Just stand firm with your belt of truth, yourbreastplate of righteousness, your shoes of peace, helmet of salvation, shieldof faith and sword of the Spirit, and you will stand face to face with Satanand not be harmed. In fact, he’ll run for the bushes each time.

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