Monday, April 8, 2013

Little Foxes, Flies, & Chihuahuas

"Catch us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."
Song of Solomon 2:15
(KJV)

I was finally able to settle into a comfortable sleep.
It had taken so long to finally calm down and convince my mind to relax.
Exactly how long I had slept, I can not say.
Not nearly long enough, to be sure.
I only know that I was in a very deep state of rest.
Such wonderful, sweet oblivion.
I was someplace peaceful...and tranquil...and quiet.


All of a sudden, my peaceful slumber was violently disturbed.
Startled, I awakened instantly.
Serenity shattered.
Peacefulness destroyed.
Wide awake, was I.
Heart pounding so hard from the sudden jolt, it seemed it could be heard all over the room.
Pulse racing, I jerked upright....senses completely alert...operating in full gear.

It is amazing how that can happen, isn't it?
One can go from being dead to the world, so to speak,
to completely alert and on guard....in a matter of a split second.

I am not the soundest of sleepers,
but if I am utterly exhausted like I was last night,
I can fall into a pretty far-off place....
blissfully removed from anything except peaceful rest.
We had enjoyed hours of pleasant company.
I had cooked and baked and worn myself completely out....
to the point of being able to really sleep.

So, what had just happened?
There had to be a culprit.
Who or what was responsible....for robbing me of such sweet, coveted tranquility?

Did the security alarm go off?
The alarm clock?
Did something fall?
Was there some other loud noise?
Was something wrong?
Was Kevin or Zach talking to me?
Was someone shaking me awake?
Did the phone ring?
Was someone at the door?
What was the cause of this very unwelcome intrusion?

It must have been something boisterously loud, right?

Wrong!

Something big, right?

Wrong, again!

Instantly, I recognized the culprit.
It wasn't loud.
It definitely wasn't big.
In fact, it was smaller than the end of my little finger.
A bit smaller than the eraser on the end of a pencil.
Just a tiny, little thing....
but let me tell you, there was massive power behind those 
rapidly-fluttering little wings.
They made enough noise to bring me back from a very remote, distant place....
in a matter of a millisecond.

I was not happy.
Not one bit.
I waved my arm...to shoo it away....
hoping with everything within me...
it would just disappear....
and leave me alone.
Wishing with all my heart to go back...
to that place of rest.
I was still tired.
Everything in me wanted to go back to sleep....


back to that peaceful place....
and pretend this annoyance never happened.

The aggravating, little thing!
How dare it!
Creep in from somewhere outside,
muster the audacity to fly around my blissfully-sleeping head,
and buzz with all its might!
Why, if I could get my hands on that.....
that brazen little thing!

It was just not meant to be.

Every time I finally began to doze....
drift off....
partially relax.....
it was like the mean-spirited little thing could sense it.
It was like it was playing a game....
sitting someplace close, watching to see when I completely relaxed,
maliciously scheming, strategically planning, 
for the next channel of attack....
waiting with bated breath for me to drift off....just the slightest bit 
so it could dive-bomb with a vengeance.....
straight towards its planned target.....
my ear.

As soon as it made contact,
it was almost as if it would fly away...gleefully, perhaps?
I don't know if a fly has the ability to laugh...or feel any emotion,
but I could almost imagine diabolical laughter
coming from the vicinity of those fluttering wings,
as they hurriedly carried the impish, little thing...
away from my flailing arms.

The thought came to me....
"now that you're awake, you might as well pray."


Yes, that is what I would do, I decided.
I would start talking to God....
take advantage of this early-morning solitude.
I would enjoy uninterrupted time with Him....
quite a bit earlier than usual.

So, I began.
All was calm.
All was quiet.
I decided maybe the Lord allowed that unwelcome interruption,
just so I would wake up and pray.
I began to think about the aggravating, little thing in a more positive light....
started giving it the slightest benefit of a doubt.
I even sort of forgot about the little, annoying pest.

I was just getting into prayer real good...
starting to really pour out my heart...when.....
all of a sudden,
out of the blue, well.....you guessed it!

That bold, bothersome, over-bearing, little metamorphisized maggot
(who knows where it had been, what it had been in contact with, well....you get the picture)
 had the gall to return, 
completely uninvited, unannounced, extremely unwelcome....
right into my space.
It wasn't enough for the little irksome botheration to inject itself 
into the peaceful slumber of my exhaustion-induced oblivion.
That didn't satisfy it.
Now, it returned to barge in and commandeer my prayer time.
This time, it stepped...or should I say flew, over the line....
way over it.

Now, I was beyond aggravated.
I got up and went for the swatter....
determinedly praying all the way...
unwilling for the irritating, little vexation to bring a halt to my communion with God.
I even inserted the little exasperating headache into my prayer....
not for its well-being, mind you, 
but asking God to help me kill it.

Do you know the little beast obnoxiously hung around
the entire duration of my prayer time?
It seemed to be having the grandest of times.
I stood up,
opened the front door to let in more light,
(hoping it would fly towards it and land on the glass),
watched for it,
finally spotted it in a landed position,
and swatted at it repeatedly.
All to no avail.
It outsmarted me the entire time I was praying.

It's a good thing bodily position during prayer is not important to God!
I wonder if He has ever seen anyone go through such shenanigans while praying????

I was bound and determined....
to finish my prayer time.
I did.
Not very graciously, I'll admit.
But, I prayed clear through....
until I had the assurance God heard.

I finished.
Felt a sense of peace.
Got up to start the day.
Carried some stray cups that guests had left in the living room
into the kitchen.
Picked up some things that needed put away.
Went to open the blind at the window over the kitchen sink......when....
out of the corner of my eye I saw something move....flutter.
There it was.
Landed.
Sitting still.
On the stove, of all places.
Ah-ha!

Now that the little distressing provocation had....let's see....
woke me out of a wonderfully-sound sleep,
gone away,
returned repeatedly to interrupt my prayer time to the point 
of nearly robbing every bit of the grace for which I was praying.....
now, there it was.
Almost as if it were posing.
Sitting politely.
Like a good, little maggot-turned-fly....
just waiting....seemingly patiently....
for the blasting blow that would send it from here....
to who-knows-where.

I grabbed the swatter...with pleasure, I might add.
And I swung with all my might.
I was determined not to miss....
no way, 
no how.
Yes, sirree, buddy!
That little thing had done all the damage it was gonna do.
One blow.
That's all it took.
It met its waterloo.....
right there....
on our kitchen stove.

I grabbed a paper towel and viciously squashed it....
with no grace attached....
and threw it in the trashcan hidden in the nearby cupboard.

Victory won!
Hallelujah!

Humorous....but tell me this.
How could something so small....
so tiny.....
so little....
cause such grief?
How could it hold the capacity?
To be so overpoweringly, overwhelmingly bothersome?
How?

King Solomon, endued with all of his God-endowed wisdom 
said the little foxes, not the big foxes, spoil the vine.
Those little ones....who were down on the level of the grapes....
who could wiggle in small spaces and finagle their way into small openings.
They were the ones to look out for.
They were the ones who ruined things.
Foxes are crafty...clever....subtle.
They get in, they gnaw away on the branches, they devour the fruit.
They take what is beautiful....and destroy it.
Those little foxes....grow and turn into big foxes...
if they are not eliminated while they are little.

Our Lord's brother, James wrote these words in James 3:5,
"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. 
Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"
The tongue is one of the smallest members of the body,
but think of the damage it has done...and can do!
Its potential for ruination is untold.

We recently had to have repairs made to our lawnmower.
One of the problems had to do with a little spring.
Somehow it had slipped out of place and was malfunctioning,
causing the engine to idle too fast.

Our brother-in-law is such a blessing to us.
He came to work on it and sent Zachary in to fetch the spring
we had bought to replace the defective one.
Zach looked up at me and said, 
"Mama, it's hard to imagine that something so small 
could cause such a big problem.....
that something this little could make the whole mower not work right."

He looked at me with one of those knowing looks.
I nodded.
I knew exactly what he was thinking, as he turned to walk out to the garage.

He's right.
This child's mind works like the mind of a preacher.  :~)
It amazes me how he is always finding spiritual applications out of
 the everyday things and happenings of life.

That little spring...
that little member called a tongue in each one of our mouths.....
those little foxes....
that horribly annoying little fly.....
they're all connected.
By one six-letter word....
L-I-T-T-L-E.
Such small connotations.
Such huge implications, repercussions, and aggravation.
Such monumental potential for ruination.

I got rid of the little fly.
It bothers me no more.
It will never bother anyone else.

What about those little bothersome things in my character?
Those seemingly trifling little discrepancies?
That little bit of bitterness towards the one who wronged me?
That little "white" lie that contained the slightest bit of truth...but was mostly untrue?
That little bit of jealousy simmering just below the surface?
That little gloat I felt when I heard of my enemy's misfortune?
That little festering fear that keeps me from pursuing God's dreams?
Speaking of fear, I love how Holley Gerth puts it in perspective.
She says...
Fear hangs out right next to whatever it is you’re most called to do. 
That means the closer you get to your calling, the louder fear sounds. 
Keep going–fear is a chihuahua that sounds like a Doberman.”

A chihuahua that sounds like a Doberman....
in reality something so little, yet appearing to be something so big.

Whew!
Those little things....
those little foxes...
they spoil the vine.

Jesus is the Vine.
We are the branches.
We can't spiritually thrive apart from Him.
In fact, without remaining attached to the Vine,
we, being the branches, will wither away and die.
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: 
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: 
for without me ye can do nothing." 
John 15:5
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being..." 
Acts 17:28

How about you, my friend?
Any sly, creeping little foxes snooping around....
devouring and spoiling the sweet fruits of your life?

The little foxes chew away and have the capacity of gnawing completely through our branch,
detaching us from our Life Source.
If we don't guard the tender fruits of the Spirit growing in our lives,
the little foxes will spoil everything good, leaving only ruin behind.

Little foxes are vine-spoilers....
peace-robbers....
joy-thieves.
Ignore a little fox,
pretend it isn't there,
and just watch and see.
It will go after the grapes,
look for and find the best ones,
and it will thrive.

Before I could get rid of the buzzing annoyance,
I had to identify the culprit, then eliminate it.

Before we can stop the thievery of our spiritual fruit,
we have to catch the foxes....the little foxes....
and bring them all to Jesus.
His blood cleanses everything.
Nothing is more powerful.
Not even a little fox.


2 comments:

  1. Amen! I am seeing an amazing thread as I read the different posts for this God-sized dream. It is like sitting down at a Bible Study with my sisters in Christ, and we all have a story to tell about how scripture has helped us to deal with that little mongrel. I liked the fox analogy--that was a fresh outlook on how fear can grow larger. Blessings to you this week and forever, Love, your sis in Christ.

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  2. Hello, Deborah! So sweet of you to stop by. You always encourage me. I hope today is one of your better days. God's peace be with you, my friend!

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