"Yeah, 'cause we're dumb!" said Lawrence, as he shot off another round of his double barrel shotgun.
That was the day I uncovered a snake down at the barn. The Lord does protect us, I'm telling you, even as today I still have red streaks on my right calf and right index finger, because I got stung by scorpions three times, within three days last week. The Lord protected me last night from the one on the wall next to my left shoulder as I sat on the commode in the dark of the restroom! And He protected me from the one in the bath tub the night before! The one at church might have been avoided, had I been paying attention to what I was doing, and if I had heeded the unction from the Holy Spirit and had looked under the sheet before I got into bed, I might have seen that one, although I think it was under my pillow. I always look, but I'm usually looking for spiders, never dreaming a scorpion would be in my bed! I ignored the unction because I was half asleep and Lawrence was already in bed, so I should have been safe since he hadn't gotten stung. Wrong. It got me twice!
But I discovered it's true; you can step on snakes (Ps. 91:13) and be protected, because we had been stepping on a nest of possibly nine large rat snakes, and didn't know it. In fact, they had probably been there for years! They were under a palette, which was loaded with feed and empty sacks, and there I was, picking up those empty sacks, getting down to bare ground, and low and behold a snake!
When I called for Lawrence, he hobbled down to the barn with his shotgun, and we saw another one crawling under the gate as we walked to the barn! I began praying, wildly, trusting in the Holy Spirit to pray for me, because I didn't know what I was saying.
We entered the barn, and poor Lawrence, he was on crutches because his foot was hurting him. So I took the shot gun, asking him which color cartridge did he want to use, the red or the green, and he said "It doesn't matter, just load some." So I loaded them, thinking one of each color might be better than the same color, and handed it to him. He had sat down on a chair and was using a hoe, searching for the snake which had crawled under an old flat box deep freeze, used for our loose feed. At the end of it was a palette, used for sacks of feed. The snake popped his head out. Bamm! Lawrence took a plug at it but just nicked it, so it drew back behind the freezer.
We waited and sure enough it came back out. Bamm! This time he blew a hole in the wall behind the freezer, and nearly took out a calf behind it! I said "Wait, let me herd these calves out," and started whooping them out, but then all the dogs came 'cause it's their job to herd the calves when we yell "Whoop, whoop!" So then I had to chase out the dogs so they didn't get bit by the snakes because Lawrence wasn't waiting.
He had taken the hoe and had picked up the palette, and I knew the Lord God Almighty was protecting us, because there were at least seven or eight large, 4 foot or longer rat snakes! I nearly fainted and wanted to throw up, and said "Lord, please protect us and help us", and Lawrence said "Yes Lord", bamm! "Got another!" "Hand me some more cartridges Babe! I'm shaking and dropping the cartridges, and asked him "Are we using the right kind, 'cause that's not buck shot!" He said "It's getting 'em, just hand 'em here!"
He was lifting the dead ones up into a wheel barrow, and I'm just trying to stay out of the way. Finally we think we got them all, but I'm still remembering the one that crossed the entrance to the barn, (it's still around) and it was sickening to have to push that wheel barrow full of dead snakes out of the barn. He couldn't do it 'cause of his crutches, although by now he was so excited he wasn't needing them too much.
We went to church, and when we got back, we burned them with the old feed sacks. Have you ever watched a dead snake burn? Grey and black smoke comes out of them and this ugly green stuff oozes out. It's the nastiest thing I've ever seen. I took a picture, so I could show someone who told me they like to eat rattlesnake. Perhaps it will change their mind. I had never thought about it, but did you know you can get poisoned from handling a dead rattler? So, what would happen if you ingested some of that poison as you ate it?
Well, that's the story of the snake nest in the Coffee barn, in the summer of 2009. God is good, He does protect us, and yes, He did teach me to be wary and aware of what's around me at all times. I need to look where I'm going, turn on lights, open my eyes, wear shoes at all times, and buy white sheets, white shower curtains, white rugs, and white pillow cases! Why white? Because it's easy to spot a spider or scorpion!
Since then, I have searched for prayers for protection. I offer these to you! (Wish I had been praying these prayers before I got stung), but God does turn all things into good for those of us who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28); and perhaps this all happened for me to learn very important safety measures, and what could be the most important last words I ever speak, when it comes time for me to cross the Jordan, (the 1st line in the traveling prayer below). Better to learn this now, than never at all!
Safety: "Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You that You watch over Your Word to perform it. I thank You that I dwell in the secret place of the most high and that I remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the almighty, whose power no foe can withstand.
Father, You are my refuge and my fortress. No evil shall befall me - no accident shall overtake me - nor any plague or calamity come near my home. You give your angels special charge over me to accompany and defend and preserve me in all my ways of obedience and service. They are encamped around about me.
Father, You are my confidence, firm and strong. You keep my foot from being caught in a trap or hidden danger. Father, You give me safety and ease me - Jesus is my safety! Thank You Father, in Jesus' name, amen."
"As I go, I say, "Let me pass over to the other side," and I have what I say. I walk on my way, securely and in confident trust, for my heart and mind are firmly fixed and stayed on You, and I am kept in perfect peace. Thank You Father, in Jesus' name, amen."
"Father, I sing for joy upon my bed because You sustain me. In peace I lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. I lie down, and I am not afraid. My sleep is sweet, for You give blessings to me in sleep. Thank You, Father, in Jesus' name. Amen"
Scripture references that prayers were based on: Proverbs 3:24; Psalm 91:11; Psalm 34:7; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Psalm 103:20