This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: mercy (Page 2 of 2)

David’s Digest: Do & Don’t Do Unto Others

Matt 7:12 – “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

This is often looked at in the positive — be charitable, help those in need, etc. However, the reverse is also implied — do not do to others what you would not have done to you. And God is paying attention!

Puritan Thomas Manton discusses this in his sermon on Matt 7:12:

III. The third thing to be considered is the illative particle, ‘therefore.’ From what is this inferred? In the foregoing verses our Saviour speaks of audience in prayer: ‘If ye, being evil, know how to give good things unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father know how to give good things to them that ask him? Therefore, whatsoever ye would,’ &c. Christ makes many notable arguments, and shows that God is ready to give good things to us: ‘Ask, and ye shall have,’ &c. He proves it from the kindness of earthly parents to their children. And, now, therefore, to intimate this, that if men have their prayers granted, they must observe this rule; they must perform all duties of civil righteousness, as well as be earnest in acts of piety. Upon this limiting it to the audience of prayer, it plainly implies three things:—

1. That God is the judge of human actions; he will take cognisance of this, whether you do to others as they do to you, and you shall hear of it in your dealing with God; that is the first and lowest thing; and remember, you have to do with God as much as they have to do with you. He shows this to bridle the excesses of those that are in power. There are a sort of men that think they may do anything if they can do it safely: Micah ii. 1, ‘That do evil because it is in the power of their hand.’ They eagerly prosecute their purposes and desires when they have power to effect them. Now a Christian should pause upon the matter, and consider not only what is possible to be done, but what is just and lawful to be done; and conscience should put a severe restraint when nothing else can hinder us; as Joseph said, Gen. xlii. 18, ‘This do, and live; for I fear God.’ He had a full advantage against them that wrought him so much mischief, but he had an inward principle laid up in his heart which begat a tenderness, ‘I fear God.’ But when men will do everything they are able to effect, and will do anything as far as their power will reach, remember you must come before God, and God can requite it, though they cannot. It is not conscience which governs the greatest part of the world, but interest. When it is not for men’s interest, they will do no wrong; but when they have power enough to do what they intend, they care not how they trample upon their own brethren, hate and pursue them with all that is evil. It is hard to avoid this snare when we are in power. Men forget God and abuse their power, and many times, by a strange providence, they are brought to suffer the like hardness themselves. When we see the oppressions of the innocent, and things carried so perversely, we are apt to say, Lord, who shall call these men into question? who shall accuse them? Why, the sighs and groans of the oppressed before God’s tribunal upon all persons depend every moment, these will be more authentic witnesses than any matters of fact can be produced in a lower court.

2. It implieth this, and it enlargeth the rule, that whatsoever usage we expect to meet with at God’s hands, the same in some measure we should dispense and deal out to others. He is willing to give all, provided you are willing to do to others as you would be done unto. All the mercy and goodness we expect from him, that must sway our practice and conversation with men. Whatever need others have of us, the same need have we of God: Eph. vi. 8, ‘Whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.’ So for other relations. In the practice of this rule Christians are to consider not only how they would be dealt withal by men, but with God himself for Christ’s sake, which carrieth the precept far beyond the heathen latitude, and mightily enlargeth the rule. Alas! from God we have nothing but undeserved mercy, pardon of sins, &c. So we are to practise this rule, not only to those that love us, but to our enemies; we must show mercy to the worst for Christ’s sake. Strict justice, by the light of nature, requires the injurious should suffer according to the wrong is done to me. Ay! but what do I expect from God? Therefore, I am to consider how God will deal with me if I am rigid, severe, exact, and stand upon all things to the uttermost.

3. Another consideration which mightily enforceth the rule is, that if you do such things to others as you would not have them do to you, God will do that to you which you have done to others; for vengeance is his. They are not to do the same to you again, nor exact nor desire it, but God will. It is good to consider God’s judgment, of counterpassion or retaliation: ‘As thou hast done, so shall it be done to thee; thy reward shall return upon thine own head,’ Obad. ver. 15. They that were pitiless, merciless to their brethren in the day of their flight from Jerusalem, God will pay them home in their own coin: ‘And with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again,’ Mat. vii. 1, 2; Gen. ix. 6, ‘Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.’ It is not only a law what is to be done, but a rule of providence, what God will do. What more usual than malefactors to be dealt withal according to their own wickedness? There are many instances of this judgment of counter-passion, God doing to them what they have done to others.

Adonibezek, when the people caught him and cut off his thumbs and his great toes, said, ‘Threescore and ten kings having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.’ Usually this is the dealing of God. The Israelites had their children drowned in the water by Pharaoh. What then? Pharaoh and all his host, within a little while, all his nobility and men of war, were all drowned in the water. Ahab’s blood was lapped up by dogs in the place where they shed the blood of Naboth; and Jezebel, being more guilty, was devoured with dogs. Ahab only permitted this contrivance, but Jezebel acted it. Ahab humbled himself, therefore he was buried with honour; but Jezebel was entombed in the belly of dogs, and her flesh devoured by them. A gallows, we read, was made for Mordecai, and Haman was hanged on it himself. Henry the Third of France, in that very chamber where the massacre was contrived against the Protestants, there he was slain; and his brother before him, Charles the Ninth, was found flowing in blood in his bed, who had shed so much of the blood of God’s saints. Judges ix. 18. 19, compared with ver. 23, 24. When the men of Shechem had done great injury to the house of Jerubbaal, ‘Ye are risen up against my father’s house, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons upon one stone.’ What then? ver. 23, ‘Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, that the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them.’ So also the observation of Austin is not to be passed by, upon the parable of the rich man; he that denied a crumb, could not find a drop to cool his tongue.

But you will say, Is it so with good men also, the children of God, if they should break his law, doth the Lord give them according as they have done to others? Yes; God observes the same justice; though he doth pardon the eternal punishment and take it off, yet here in this world, as to temporals, they shall have like for like. Jacob supplanted his brother; he came to Isaac as the elder, the younger instead of the elder; and Laban brings him the elder instead of the younger, Leah instead of Rachel. Asa, which put the prophet into the stocks, we read of him that he was diseased in his feet. Nay; I shall give you greater instances than that. Joseph’s brethren they were not flexible to their brother, and did not hear his cry; at length they came to Egypt upon an honest errand for corn in time of famine, and the man is inexorable: Gen. xlii. 21, ‘We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.’ What was the matter? How comes this to work? In a storm, things at bottom we see come up to the top; so ever sins in trouble will bubble up, and we shall see that we saw not before. How come they to remember the trouble of their brother, for they knew not Joseph, and twenty years were past since they sold him? They found the man as inexorable as they had been to their brother. God s judgment of counter-passion sets their conscience a-work. A greater instance we have of Paul, that consented to the stoning of Stephen, and was present too at his execution; and it is said, ‘They laid down their garments at Paul’s feet;’ and he himself takes notice of it with great remorse afterwards, Acts xxii. 20. Well, what then? after his conversion how doth God deal with Paul? Stephen had prayed for him too among the rest, ‘Lord, lay it not to their charge;’ yet God gave him some smart remembrance of his sin. When Paul and Barnabas had been preaching at Iconium, though Barnabas had irritated them as well as Paul, they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Barnabas, who was equal with him in preaching, God ordered it so he was not stoned; but Paul, that had consented to Stephen’s stoning, was stoned himself and carried out for dead. What need have we to be exact in observing what is required of us here, for the Lord by one means or other will return it into our bosoms. We have done that to others which we would not should be done to ourselves, and therefore will God do that to us which we do to others.

So, not only is this a command of God, but in summary:

  1. God certainly takes notice of our actions to others
  2. If we desire His mercies toward us, we need to be merciful (Matt 5:7)
  3. And if we are unmerciful (including reviling, not forgiving, etc.) to others, that is inviting and basically asking God to be unmerciful, even in those same ways, to us, and we should expect them!

    And this also applies to those who call themselves Christians! (albeit, for a true child of God, it is chastisement for their good, Rom 8:28, so they learn from their sin and pray and work to not sin in those ways anymore)

May we heed these words, and may we be full of charity, by God granting us His graces, and may we pray to these ends.

— David

David’s Digest: The Treasure of an Unpleasing Land

When new people are thinking about moving here, I often talk to them about the difficulties in the carnal man with living closely-knit to other folks, but also the great spiritual benefits that can come from that, if not viewed carnally. I also mentioned it at the end of my Living in the Darkness blog post.

For example, if I think I find some inconsistencies in my human Bible teacher’s life (who teaches the truth, desires to be conformed to Christ’s image, and where I’ve seen such transformations over the years), or I’m given a simple command (like, put that down and come help me, even if I think what I’m doing is important at the moment) by an authority over me (even more so if I’ve willingly submitted myself to that authority), or I feel my favors to someone have been abused by that person, etc., assuming my perception of the situation is correct (which I need to very carefully and prayerfully consider, perhaps over an extended period of time, that it might not be), I believe God is affording me a gracious opportunity for His graces to be shown forth in

  • humility
  • meekness
  • forbearance and mercifulness (regardless of percentage of fault, and especially in light of Christ’s infinite forbearance and mercy toward me, my sin, my human frailties, my inconsistencies, and my countless abuses of His infinite graces and mercies)
  • forgivingness (my forgiving of others, even asking God to forgive them — see Gill on Matt 6:12)
  • obedience
  • faithfulness
  • selflessness, servanthood and sacrifice (especially in light of Christ’s [God Almighty!] infinite condescension to become a selfless servant, even to be sacrificed by His creation!)
  • waiting on the Lord (sometimes for years and years and years) in prayer (which, while God works it out, either in me or the other person or both, I’ve helped keep unity and not brought schism)
  • belief in God’s sovereign hand
  • etc., etc., etc., etc.

But if I find the opposite in myself coming forth, I believe God is yet again affording me a gracious opportunity to see a lack of His spiritual graces in my life; and then, if I desire to be molded in His image, I can bring these wants before Him in repentance and supplication for these graces. Either way, God is glorified in what appears to be a troubling situation by His work in a sinful worm and wretch like me; and while my carnal man fights it and causes me grief, it is mercifully to my benefit that my heart is tried whether I see any evidence of an interest in Christ or not, so I can give diligence to make my calling and election sure (2 Pet 1:10) and work out my own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12), which if my heart is not proved, I may lack the Spirit’s fruit and not know it, and then never truly seek it. (As an aside, because of the difficulties with my carnal man and complete lack of spiritual ability in myself, and that God often uses trials and afflictions to teach us, I’ve also recently started to ask God for His help as He’s helping me. 🙂 ) These opportunities are a means of God’s graces.

You just don’t get these kinds of God-given opportunities, certainly alone, but also in the loose-knit “Christianity” of today. There, you can hide; here, you cannot, which, as I’m pointing out, I believe can be a good thing, in bringing about purity and holiness, in individuals and as a group. (As a result too, with examples like the ones from above, if my heart is in order, God might grant me, in His timing, a proper and appropriate opportunity for me to speak with the other person about my perceived issues with him, and I might then find that God has been working on the other person’s heart as well!)

God also uses other means to bestow His graces, in His Word, with teaching, by His ordinances, in singing, in trials and afflictions (as I mentioned), by prayer, etc. — we need to seek Him in these and all of His means, and then we’ll find (Luke 11:9). Part of obtaining God’s graces comes from asking for them, with repentance; and again, you don’t ask for them if you don’t know you need them.

In a world of barrenness, if I find a field with a bearing Tree in it, although the field may be full of weeds, and rocks and crevices and difficulties to get to the Tree, which all seem to make the field worthless, it is my private (personal) judgment that it is worth giving up everything (including my sin and carnal reactions/views, carnal/temporal gains and reputation, etc.) to buy that field to obtain the Treasure that is in it.

It is our prayer here that Christ mold us in His image, and we thank Him for the graces, mercies and grace-filled opportunities He has granted us. May we never slumber as He knocks; may we diligently seek Him and His graces; may we see things as He sees them; like a green olive tree, may we trust in His mercies for ever and wait patiently on His name in the house of God; may we be His light, shining on a hill (a rolling one here in central Texas 🙂 ) for as long here as He wills; may we never do anything to offend Him so as to have the candlestick removed or the face of His presence hidden; and may He see us through, in His faith, all the way of our “progress,” even through Jordan, to the end. Amen.

— David

Mercy in the Drought

As anyone who reads our blog probably knows, we have been in an extensive drought this year (they say the worst in 50 years), starting especially October 2010. By the time we got through September of this year, we had probably had around 1/4 of rain we normally get year to date; and the groups’ catch-water containers and ponds were “running on fumes.” Back in a previous blog post about our 2008 garden, I had indicated that I had come to a point of deciding to not go to the world for water again (our water doesn’t magically appear out of faucets); and with the way things were going, at times it would start to get a little desperate — I was even starting to prepare mentally and logistically (with sand filters, etc.) for having to start to drink pond water.

The drought has been pretty devastating state-wide. Many ranchers have had to completely liquidate their cattle due to lack of water, tanks (ponds) that we’ve never seen dry before have gone dry, and hay has been scarce and expensive.

Regardless of how things occur in this world, the Lord Jehovah IS faithful, IS gracious, IS merciful. I believe we must always remember that He IS those things, regardless of our circumstances. It is only by His perfect and infinite graces, mercies and wisdom, in accordance with His perfect will and sovereignty, that He ever reveals those things to us in tangible or experimental (experiential) ways.

Throughout our time of drought this year, God has graciously granted provisions for all of us here to maintain ourselves and our animals without having to specially go to the world for water. Our personal cistern and polypropylene tank once again never ran dry, even after discovering a pretty significant leak in the floor of the cistern, where we were probably losing 500 gallons a week at one point (argh!!). When they would get low, the Lord would drop some rain on us to grant another few weeks.

It has been an interesting time of faith and trust-testing. Through it though, we are reminded daily upon Whom we depend, and look to Him daily for those, sometime weekly-provided, provisions; and through it, we find our sin and failures, which is a good thing, and is for what we pray, along with subsequent repentance.

Graces and Mercies

I also wanted to share a couple of other things that occurred along the way that I have taken, hopefully not out of vain imagination, as tokens from the Giver of provision.

We had a tough time keeping up with the orchard. We really don’t have a way of watering the trees right now directly from a water source; and so we have to haul water to them, which is difficult with 25-30 trees. We did some pond runs a couple of times, and watered some from the cistern, and at one point I finally got the who-would-have-thought-it idea of watering them using our camper grey water (Lord please forgive me for not using that water sooner and just sending it to waste). Still, with 100 degree F temperatures for month on end, and no rain, some of the trees I believe haven’t made it, although I guess we’ll know better next Spring, Lord willing.

However, one day while I was out there in the orchard, I looked, and lo, and behold, on one of the trees, there were some peaches actually growing! I was astounded, as that tree hadn’t really received even much of the manual watering. One had fallen to the ground, and here are the four I was able to harvest. And they tasted wonderfully!

Drought 2011 Peaches

Moreover, we had at one point in the Spring received a few inches of rain; and so I decided to plant our tomatoes. Well, obviously I didn’t know what was to come with the rest of Spring and Summer, in temperature and precipitation; but we did what we could to try to keep them at least alive. Through it all though, along in September one day, I looked, and lo, and behold, there was actually a little, tiny tomato that had grown! I smiled greatly, and thought of the Lord’s providence, and how He grants all of these things in accordance with His will. It was a beautiful sight to see that tomato and a beautiful thing to behold God’s providential hand:

Drought 2011 Tomato

Further, at one point, our teacher Mr. Bunker forwarded the below video on to us, as an encouragement in a weary time. Here is a picture of the beginning of that video, and I’ve drawn in an arrow pointing to right about where we are (if you click the picture, you can see a larger version):

Drought 2011 Texas Map in 2009

If you watch the video, keep an eye on where we are:

If you’ll notice, our county and the one right to our east were the last ones to go into the extreme drought. The Lord graciously and mercifully granted quenchings amidst the fire, even though we don’t deserve them.


By October, the tanks (ponds) on the land were really starting to get low; and even our county had gone into the highest level of drought the professionals note. If the tanks were to go dry, all of our cows would have to go. But, once again, the Lord graciously and mercifully granted a revelation of His graces and mercies in bringing the rains; and for the time it rained, it came a-plenty! We received over 5 inches in around 24 hours, which caused water to run, which filled the tanks, and provided lots of water for the catch-water tanks and cisterns around the land.

Here is the near side of our cistern (the side that fills first):

Drought 2011 Oct Rain Cistern Near Side

Before looking into the far side, I had hoped that perhaps the water would have gone over the middle divider at least somewhat; but when I looked, this is what I found!

Drought 2011 Oct Rain Cistern Far Side

And then it was time to check the pond. Wow! This is one of the fullest times it’s ever been!

Drought 2011 Oct Rain Pond

What a humbling, welcome site to see water in our containment systems! We are so very grateful to the Lord!

With the rains around here comes mud, and it had been a while since we had experienced slogging around in it. And Sue got a quick reminder of what it was like, as the mud reached out and grabbed her to the ground when she was going to milk the goats (you can see a little of the food spilled). But, given the circumstances, I don’t believe she minded. 🙂

Drought 2011 Oct Rain Slopping in the Mud

And I don’t think the goats minded the water either:

Drought 2011 Oct Rain Fields

The past 12 months have been a time to reflect and never forget. May we ever remember God’s direct hand in our provisions, as He is the one who brings the rain; and we pray for His continued provisions and healing of the land. We pray He would grant us learning from these difficult times, and grow us in trust in Him. May we always be grateful, humbled and awed by His loving, condescending, gracious, merciful, and caring hand. And may these things bring us into greater obedience to Him, out of love for Him. Amen.

(Please don’t skip the following part:)

Job 36

1 Elihu also proceeded, and said,

2 Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.

3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

4 For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.

5 Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.

6 He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.

7 He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.

8 And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;

9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.

11 If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

12 But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.

13 But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.

14 They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.

15 He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.

16 Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.

17 But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.

18 Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

19 Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.

20 Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.

21 Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.

22 Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?

23 Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?

24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.

25 Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off.

26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.

27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

28 Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.

29 Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?

30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.

31 For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.

32 With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.

33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.

Job 37

1 At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.

2 Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth.

3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.

4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.

5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

6 For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

7 He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.

8 Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.

9 Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.

10 By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened.

11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:

12 And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.

13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.

14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

15 Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?

16 Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?

17 How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?

18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?

19 Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness.

20 Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.

21 And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.

22 Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

23 Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.

24 Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart.

— David

Snake, Rattle and Hoe

Last night, it was time to go to sleep. Sabbath had begun a few hours earlier, I had already laid down, and Sue was preparing to retire. It seemed there were an unusual amount of insects in our camper; and while She was at the sink, a medium sized beetle-looking bug was trying to crawl out of the sink, but kept slipping back. As Providence would have it, Sue decided to help the little guy, grab him, and toss him outside. She got a hold of him with a tissue, opened the screen door to our camper, started shaking him out, and looked down only to behold something unexpected. She called to me; I was already starting to doze and wasn’t pleased: I thought she must have seen an extra large spider or something. I complained, but she said that she had seen a snake just below our camper door slithering around my rain boots, which sat next to the palette at the bottom of the steps. I looked down but didn’t see anything. She said it had crawled back underneath the camper. I walked down the steps with the flashlight; and sure enough, there it was. It was a rattle snake, and a fairly thick one too!

Wow. Ok, what to do. It was now coiled up between the two tires of the dual axle on this side of our camper. Shooting it with a pistol or shotgun, or even a .22 from the angle I was standing would probably just cause the bullet to ricochet into the camper. I figured I’d try to poke it enough with something so it would move out into the open, where I could shoot it. I got prepared with the shotgun and .22 rifle, Sue and I donned our rubber rain boots, and I grabbed our hoe and started poking it with the head-end. Well, all that did was cause it to move farther under the camper, coil up behind the rear tire, and start rattling. Hmmm. I went around to the back of the camper with all of the (literal) hardware, and examined the situation from there. It appeared I might have a shot with the .22 from back there without causing a severe ricochet. I prayed I was correct, because the 100 pound propane was off to the side but sort of down line. We prepped the shotgun in case it decided to escape, I lined up the .22 using the backside of the camper wall to brace the barrel against (the shot needed to be pretty accurate as the snake was right next to the tire), aimed for the body because I couldn’t see the head, prayed for a true shot, and fired. The Lord answered the prayer with a hit. This stirred up the rattler; it shook its tail and snapped at the bottom of the camper, but then recoiled, only this time exposing his head. I aimed again, fired, and connected. The rattling stopped, and its movements slowed. It exposed its head once again, and I shot it there again, and this time its movements mostly ceased. We waited a little bit to make as sure as possible it was dead, and using the hoe I slid it out. Sue went and got the machete for me. I pinned its head against the ground with the hoe and chopped it off to finish the ordeal.

And here it is:

This is it the next day, minus the rattle:

And here’s Sue taking it to the chickens for breakfast:

This was no youngin’! (ie. it had been to the “molt” shop for “shakes” many times. 😀 )

We thank God for His mercies in all of this (these are just the ones we’ve recognized): Sue rarely picks up bugs from inside the camper to throw them out; I often step outside with only sandals on during the night for restroom breaks; the propane tank hadn’t blown up; and the rattle snake was disposed of. Thanks to Providence for granting and causing our safety, and for His guidance and protection. We are very grateful to Him.

We also thank the Lord for granting this as a faith builder for us in His always seeing and caring eye, and we thank Him for His mercies in bringing us safely through this.

— David

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