Snakes in a Sandbox

Homeschooling while living in our "little house on the prairie" in western Nebraska was both exciting and dangerous. We lived with sand burs, relentless wind, prairie dogs, harvester ants, coyotes, scorpions, and worst of all, rattlesnakes.

Since you never knew if rattlesnakes would be hiding in the long grass, under a rock, or even in the flower beds, we had to teach our young children to be on a constant lookout during the summer. What made things even more complicated was the fact that good bullsnakes looked exactly like bad rattlesnakes except for the shape of their heads and the rattles on their tails. Our cowboy neighbors tried several times to teach me and our children the difference. I refused to learn this lesson. To me, the only good snake was a dead snake!

Fortunately, my oldest son paid better attention to these identifying marks. When a four-foot rattler was hiding in my children's sandbox one day, my son killed it with a garden hoe. After I recovered from the shock of my son's bravery, we became the typical homeschool family and took advantage of this opportunity. We skinned the snake to examine the anatomy of a reptile for biology, tanned the hide to make jewelry for art class, and studied what living in the West was like during the 1800s for history.

We face many snakes in our spiritual lives, too, and you never know where they may be hiding. Satan's temptations are cleverly hidden and disguised, but we can recognize them and have the courage to say "no" if we claim God's power from the Bible. 1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us to resist the serpent of old because he prowls around like a lion seeking someone to devour. When Satan tempts you as a homeschooling parent to become discouraged and feel sorry for yourself, claim the promises in God's Word to defeat this enemy of God. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

Father, thank You for showing me the truth from Your Word to win over Satan's temptations. Help me to stay alert to defeat him through Your power, so my life will glorify You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(14 comments)

LYNDA B 10/30/2008 04:40:57

Very good devotional, I pray we can all watch out for those sneaky snakes that try to fool us!! In Jesus name

ANGELA S 10/30/2009 20:07:41

Very true! The enemy is a clever hunter. He observes us and knows just

what our individual weaknesses are! We have to ask God our father to

make us wise and sensitive of the enemy's work, because he can be oh so sneeky and slick!! But God is good and wiser and will help us to see if we will stay close to Him and only ask for His help. Thank you Daddy!!

SUSAN M 10/30/2010 05:01:34

Thank you for this. I needed the reminder that it's through Jesus that we pull down those strongholds.

BETH A 10/30/2010 06:01:39

I'm sad the good snakes get killed with the poisonous, because we can't tell the difference.

CHRISTINA L 10/30/2010 06:44:02

Every day on the farm is a lesson is obedience and more. When we butcher our own meat, the younger children were force for safety reason to remain in the house with mother were upset that they were missing out on the fun. While the older children were not happy about having to work, until I reminded them that this was a great opportunity to study the inside workings of a cow. They really got into it than and came in with all sorts of tales for the younger children. As the children grew up it was just Mother who was left in the house to get the equipment ready for the next stage of butchering the cutting and wrapping. But they all know how to kill and dress their own meat and this is a good life lesson to have here in the middle of nowhere.

ROBYNE H 10/30/2010 08:27:59

i can't tell you how much i appreciate these devotionals! very timely and wise. thanks so much!

Siouxsun B 10/30/2010 10:40:53

LOL thank you for the laugh of the day.=D Never miss a great oppertunity. I would of done the same thing! I heard they are good eating too!

LISA M 10/30/2010 17:38:23

I'm laughing too about being the good homeschooling family and cutting it up to study it! Great move! Yes they are good eating. Usually best if boiled though. They can be tough. We live in AZ and have some of the same things to worry about. Thankfully God watches over us all.

APRIL M 10/31/2010 05:52:53

Thanks for the timely reminder! I live in western Nebraska and was just cleaning our church last night when I found a snake wrapped around a chair leg in our middller Sunday School class! Of course, the teacher of that class happens to be a lady that is totaly scared of snakes and is afraid to go into her class now even though it was just a little garden snake (her sister-in-law and brother-in-law were there to immediately take pictures to text her). I'm going to have to share this devotional with her, maybe it will help to turn the moment into a lesson.

CHRISTINE K 10/31/2010 16:17:24

Thank you! Very encouraging!

MAYA T 10/30/2011 04:51:46

Lord, I pray that you keep me alert and that I don\'t get caught back up into things that I have been freed from. I don\'t want to have snakes bite me, in Jesus name. Amen

TRACEY D 10/30/2012 12:05:24

Awesome and Uplifting!

HEATHER C 10/30/2012 12:05:25

I had to laugh at this (not about the spiritual snakes. that part is very true) . We moved to North Dakota in July and my one concern has been snakes. I agree a dead snake is the only good kind. My neighbor killed a bull snake the other day and \"kept \" it to show me the difference between a bull and a rattler. We are a homeschooling family but I could not bring myself to do anything but look at what she was showing me. My prayer has been I would never have to deal with any of them.

KATHY S 10/30/2012 12:37:19

I\'m with you Heather.

I do not like snakes, I don\'t wan\'t to see them, look at them, make them into Biology class, and I especially do not want to eat them.

Dear Lord, please keep all real and spiritual snakes away from me and my family!!!!

It was a great devotional. I just don\'t like snakes!! :)

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