The Arizona Gladiator Wild Fire as seen from my front yard
115⁰ in the summer time, and over 100⁰ at night and in the shade. It sounds quite horrible, but it is a dry heat. Luckily the full blown effects of summer are not here yet, but as spring is coming to an end, we have a long hot summer to look forward to.
There are many more Arizona survival tips, but with all things considered, I would still rather the light of the Arizona sun to the freezing cold of the winter. Winter snow is nice to visit… the end.
The trouble with desert living isn’t always the heat, you also have to contend with the things that live here, and I don’t just mean the cactus and plants covered with long sharp thorns. There are also the desert denizens that come out to forage in the cool of the night when the sun loses its scorch. Most of these are happy, cute, fuzzy things that come out to play, but there are also the very serious things, without fuzz, that like to eat the cute fuzzy things. Well, today I got to meet one of these fine serious specimens of desert hunters face-to-face.
Early this morning my mother discovered a 5 ft. rattlesnake out by the garage. Blurry eyed and barely awake I jumped up and came to her call with my new camera at the ready but, like heck I am facing a fully grown rattlesnake head-on with a full bladder! So as soon as I am able, I go in search of our new house guest, only to discover it is no longer there! Part of me thought “Whew!” I really didn’t want to kill one of God’s creations, but unfortunately I am not a snake wrangler and chances are high that it lives nearby and it will be back again, and a deadly viper is not something I want living in my yard. But as we could not find the snake anywhere, we started heading back to the house when, to our surprise, it is sitting RIGHT BY THE ENTRANCE DOOR!
Somehow we must have walked right past it! So, my mother armed herself with a garden hosed and me still with only a camera. I figured here is a good moment to snap a few shots of the snake while it is still. So I set up my tripod and start to focus to snap a couple of photos when all of a sudden my mother turns on the hose! I had not even gotten the shovel yet! So of course the snake starts to move and so do I! I run to the garage to grab a shovel, all the while the camera is filming from the tripod.
Well it turns out the snake did not like the hose spraying at it, nor the concept of coming out from beneath the table, so it made a whole new exit. It pushed in the grating on a vent under the house and slithered down into the crawl space under our home!!! I didn’t see this one coming! That metal grate is pretty tight and tough and it just pushed it open just enough to slip on down inside. So, now as I type this, there is a snake somewhere under my feet! That does not help a person’s calm imagining a rattlesnake popping out to say hello.
Actually I thought the snake was really pretty. So as my mother researched what was best to do about our new house guest; screaming across the house about rattle snake babies and other rattlesnake facts she learned on the internet; I uploaded the two photos I took of the snake and did a little research of my own. Without the pictures I would not have had proof that under our house now lived a Sonoran Gopher Snake, whom looks a lot like a rattler and is often killed unnecessarily.
A gopher snake is actually a benefit to have around. It takes care of the vermin that you normally don’t want, like rodents. So what seemed to be a curse to our day, was actually a type of blessing. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
This ordeal reminded me of a Biblical lesson:
Snakes have had a bad rap since we learned the lesson of Lucifer in the garden in the guise of a serpent, but what most of us missed is the fact that not all serpents are evil. In fact it is only an animal. In the Bible there are two types of snakes that are mentioned. One is symbolic of a type of evil, and the other is represented as Holy and good.
To the Hebrews and Egyptians of old, a snake actually represented wisdom and cunningness. But through our church history that image has been distorted to be evil personified through its craftiness and appetite.
|Matthew 3:7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?||Matthew 12:34Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.||Matthew 23:33Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?|
But we tend to overlook the fact that Moses was commanded to take Aaron’s staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, where it would turn into a serpent and devoured the serpents that Pharaoh’s magicians conjured.
|Exodus 7: 9-12
9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’ “
10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the LORD commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11 But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.
Both of these serpents, in this passage, are a type of wisdom, and both serpents are “fiery“. This means a wisdom of testing as fire is symbolic for the tests we endure in life. And those that overcome do not fear the flames of perdition.
|1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.|
But when the poison of sin enters your life, it becomes a deadly wisdom that influences you and poisons the entire spiritual body. But as you know, not all wisdom is poison, like in the case of a garden or gopher snake. Some snakes benefit your home just as others endanger it.
We often forget that there are two sides to all things, as though two opposing sides of a coin. So as Lucifer was portrayed as a serpent and giver of light, or wisdom, that lead to death, so too is Christ a serpent that was lifted up as a wisdom that leads unto life everlasting.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
So try and remember that the Lord commands us to always be cunning and wise in all we do, but to do it with innocence and kindness:
|Matthew 10:16 “Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.|
Stay tuned, big things are coming! AND if you liked this spread the Word!