Living in South Africa brings with it a certain level of danger. I'm not talking about the Indiana Jones, romantic, exciting kind of danger. I'm talking about the real, "Holy cow, I could die!" kind of danger.
Over the last two weeks we've had 2 cobras in our backyard, a few feet away from us.
These are Mozamibique Spitting Cobras, the second most dangerous snake in Africa. They can spit their venom with complete accuracy up to 8 feet. In both encounters the snakes were raised up in an aggressive posture with their heads flared at us. We were closer than 8 feet. One of them struck at Rocco, our boxer, but missed him because of a fence in between them.
Needless to say, this is a little unnerving to us. For several nights we slept restlessly, dreaming of snakes.
But we have a choice; to live in fear, or to trust God. In church this last week the pastor mentioned the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace. When threatened with death, their response was:
"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O King. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:17,18)
The part of this scripture that stuck out to me was, "even if he does not..."
It is no fun to live in fear. Fear can cripple and paralyze you from following the will of God. We know without a doubt that we are in the middle of God's will here in South Africa. So we have a choice to trust Him, knowing that He will protect us. But even if He doesn't I know that He will give us the grace to handle whatever comes our way.