Doug Creamer column: More backyard adventures
Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2022
By Doug Creamer
I take the trash out late at night. Often, I will turn out the spotlights and stand in my yard to look at the stars. It’s quiet and I love those few moments outside. Some nights I get lucky and see some shooting stars. Other nights I have watched satellites and even the International Space Station go by overhead. Most nights I look at the stars and enjoy the few moments of peace.
Last night I saw a white spot out in the yard. I knew it was the rabbit that has been hanging around. Then I saw a second white spot and wondered if the white rabbit had found a friend. I got a small flashlight and went to check out the situation.
The first white spot was the rabbit. The second spot was the neighbor’s white cat. I shooed the cat away. I went and got a bigger flashlight to be sure the coast was clear. The white rabbit is good; he stays out of the vegetable garden. The wild rabbits have not been good; I have to chase them away from the vegetables quite often. I had to replant some vegetables because the rabbits have been enjoying them.
I was doing some weeding the other day when I noticed evidence of deer chewing the buds of some daylilies. We wait all year to see those glorious blooms, and some deer ate them. I have to wrap my blueberry bushes to keep the birds and squirrels out of them.
It seems there are always thieves who want to steal from us. While rabbits, squirrels and deer are cute in their own way, I don’t want them stealing from my garden. I work out there so I can enjoy the fruit of my labor. I know that I have to protect things if I hope to enjoy the harvest.
Vigilance is required in many areas of our lives, especially in our spiritual lives. We have an enemy to our souls who wants to steal, kill and destroy us. He operates in very subtle ways to distract us and keep us away from God. If he can keep us away from God, he can keep us away from our source of strength and power.
Sunday morning is a prime example. When do many families have fights and disagreements? Just before church, so they will be thinking about that instead of what God wants to do in their lives. If you are fuming at your kids or your mate, how can you quiet your spirit and receive what God has for you that day?
One of the ways I find myself distracted is by his subtle whispers. He will tell me that I am a sinner totally unworthy of God’s love and affection. He will remind me of my many failures. He will tell me that God doesn’t want someone like me in his holy presence. If I am not careful, I will believe those lies. It is easy to allow self-doubt, discouragement, worry or fear to invade my mind.
If I spend Sunday morning wrestling with all those bad thoughts then I will miss the whole reason I went to church. Meanwhile, the thief is laughing at his victory. One of the things I have been learning lately is that some of the thoughts I have aren’t mine. Some of the thoughts that run through my mind are being planted by the thief. My job is to take those thoughts captive and give them to God. I don’t have to play with those bad thoughts.
We all know that we are sinners, but Jesus paid the price for all our sins. If we have confessed our sins, then they are forgiven and forgotten. If worry is trying to capture my mind, then I need to give that to God, too. He holds my life in his hands and he has all the details under his control. If I am feeling discouraged, I need to let the Holy Spirit know because he is the encourager of our souls. If I am struggling with self-doubt, I only need to look at the father who loves me and receives me with open arms.
I want to encourage you to run to the father, son and Holy Spirit…they want to be with you. Why do you think the enemy works so hard to draw you away? The enemy knows that once you are in the father’s arms you know you are loved and accepted. We are the sons and daughters of God…loved, forgiven, hopeful and confident that he holds our future in his hands.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.