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Shake It Off

Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.... But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.  Acts 28:3, 5 NIV

Photo courtesy of morguefile and dee37. One morning, coffee cup in hand, I spied something out of place. A cord or ribbon hung from the bottom of the lavatory cabinet in my bathroom. Upon closer inspection, I realized a snake had wound itself into the crevice between the cabinet doors.

 A snake. In my house. In a place where I stand all the time.

Backing away hastily, I sloshed my coffee—you would have thought the snake was going to chase me down and sink its fangs into my bare leg. I closed the pocket door, set my cup down, and ran ... yelling for my husband.

"You have to come. You have to come now!" I couldn't even say the word snake. He quickly followed me back to the bathroom.

 I pointed to the coiled snake, millimeters away from where I normally stand in front of the sink and mirror. However, my husband wasn't afraid. In fact, he amicably addressed the snake with what-are-you-doing-in-here types of questions as he picked up a hand towel.   

With one deft movement, covering the snake's head with the towel, he snatched it off the cabinet. We took pictures since the snake was multi-colored and of rather daunting length, then he disposed of it. Considering my initial reaction of surprise and fear, the end of our little drama proved anti-climactic.   

What do you do when a nasty surprise invades your personal space? What Paul the apostle did will help. When a snake crawled out of the brushwood and attached itself to his arm, he shook it off into the fire and went about his business. He didn't allow the snake or fear to take hold even for a second.

When something unpleasant like an illness or a negative attitude tries to become a part of your life, you can make the same choice Paul did. Shake it off, don’t let fear take hold, and go about your business.

(Photo courtesy of morguefile and dee37.)

(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us.)

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Mary Pat Johns

Mary Pat Johns is currently a Bible teacher at Faith Family, a mega-church in Victoria, Texas. Her teaching venues include assignments for ladies’ Bible study and assisting her husband with their weekly Understanding God class. She also serves as an instructor for Destiny Bible Institute. A mother and grandmother, she lives with her husband and their miniature dachshund Ike, who runs the show.