The Devil and His Prey
By: Marla D. Daniels
To my eight year olds delight, our domesticated house cat caught a bird during her afternoon romp today. The cat lay with that bird and kept her paw right on it while it panted and writhed. She, seemingly calm, just watched us as we watched her.
She’d get up and walk away only to return and check on her reward.
At one point she decided to carry her trophy to the back patio door and declare to her family what a warrior she was. As she grabbed the helpless bird by the throat to transport it, the bird began flapping its wings with all its might. It fought a valiant fight to no avail.
In the midst of the battle it would seem that every bird in the neighborhood joined in a cacophony of squawking and screeching as loud as they were able. They all gathered together for the benefit of their fellow.
This imagery brought my mind to the battle of suicide. We’re told in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The cat is like the devil – prowling; waiting for the weakness of the prey. At the most unexpected moment – when complacency sets in, the cat (like the devil) attacks.
As we lose sight of all that we’ve been blessed with, we become dissatisfied. Ann Voskamp says in her book One Thousand Gifts, “Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what he gives.”
The moment we take our eyes off of Him and focus on SELF and that which we think we are entitled to or that we perceive we are lacking, we give the devil an open opportunity.
I have been spurred to be like the congregation of birds. We, as a diverse community – just like the birds – need to surround the prey and PRAY. We need to yell and make noise and bring attention to the schemes of the devil in every attempt to shed light and make him flee.
But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. (Eph 5:13)
The problem with the bird struggling with all its might is just that, it was relying on its own strength. This is all too familiar to us. Those contemplating suicide often run out of strength and feel they can’t fight any longer. They’re like a dry and empty well.
There is hope! Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will come in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
We can combat the lies of suicide by remembering to be thankful, (Eph 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father), filling up on the Living Water of Jesus, and finding our strength in Him not ourselves.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Eph 6:10