1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
DeDe Phillips is a grandmother who lives in Hart County, Georgia.
Recently, around dinnertime, she left her five-year-old granddaughter in the house, so she could step outside and take a photo of her truck. That mission was quickly put on hold when Phillips realized she was being watched ... by a bobcat. Even in Hart County, Georgia, bobcat sightings are not an everyday occurrence, so she took a quick snapshot of the feline.
She was shocked at what happened next. Rather than running away, the bobcat attacked. She says, it "took two steps and was on top of me. ... It came for my face." Now Phillips had a limited number of choices. She could call for help, but what would happen if her granddaughter came out? She could try to push the bobcat off and run away, but the bobcat didn't seem amenable to that option.
Her mind racing, she thought, "Not today. There was no way I was going to die." That's when Phillips stopped defending herself, and she went on the attack. She grabbed the bobcat by the throat and throttled it until it went limp.
That was when she called for help. When her son came, Phillips released her grip on the dead bobcat.
She was taken to the hospital and treated for a broken finger, some deep cuts and scratches on her hands, chest, and legs. She also is going in for a round of shots. You see, the bobcat was rabid.
Now I have to tell you, reading Phillips' story has given me a newfound respect for grandmothers. I always knew they were smart and wise, but I have seriously been underestimating their strength, especially when they are protecting a grandchild.
Oh, there is one other thing that occurred to me after reading Phillips' story. That thing is this: there are times when we have to take a stand and be ready to fight for what we believe is important. It means, as Peter said, we have to be prepared and on the watch for Satan who is stalking us, for the devil who is a rabid bobcat ready to pounce.
Now there are a great many times when it is wise to flee from temptation. Putting a considerable distance between yourself and the lions and bobcats who are dedicated to the destruction of our souls is a smart thing to do.
But there are times when we can't escape, and we can't run away. Luther had one of those times when his church and government ordered him to take back his statements about God's grace and love. Luther couldn't run and he couldn't hide. Instead, he took a stand. He did as James had suggested when he wrote, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
The truth is we who have been redeemed and saved by the Christ live in the presence of the Holy Spirit. In times when a stand must be taken a person who lives by faith will often find that the Lord has given him power far beyond that which he, himself, possesses.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, if it be possible, please deliver us from evil. When it is necessary for us to take a stand against Satan, grant us the commitment and the courage that will send him back to where he belongs. This I ask in the Savior's holy Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Janet Croley for Newser on June 15, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://www.newser.com/story/260682/rabid-bobcat-attacks-woman-she-throttles-it-to-death.html
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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