Holding Fear

When I told her I went from holding the tiny humming bird a few weeks ago to holding a snake today, she told me I needed meds. I laughed at my lifelong friend’s words, “Your farming thing is getting out of hand!”

It began in the chicken coop when I glanced down and saw an enormous snake making a meal of one of my juvenile gunieas.  Yes! I said enormous because no matter the size my fear of them is off the charts.

Snakes around here must have a sixth sense. I think they wait out in the tall grass to hear the sound of truck and boat leaving the driveway like an “all clear” signal. They must giggle at the thought of me sprinting to the house and leaving them to have their way with my sweet hens.

“Can you come now,” I said breathlessly over the phone. “Bring the snake wrangler.”

That snake wrangler is not what you’d expect.  Petite, beautiful, and for some unknown reason isn’t afraid of legless reptiles. She jumps from the truck and in a moment pulls the thing right out of the coop.


I watch in awe as she handles him with care, dangles his five foot length for us to see.


As she carries him through the unplanted garden I hear a voice say, “I want to try to hold him.” She looks at me with questioning eyes, and I wonder where the words came from. Who they came from. Did I really just say that? Was it me talking or have I been possessed?

I breath deep and nod my head. Yes, I think I do. She shows me how to hold his head, gives me his tail and let’s go. Holding the snake I think, not what I expected.” Not near as slimy as I imagined or slippery… not able to move at the speed of light… not even superman strong. In fact, it’s sort of just hangs there, tail curled around one hand, head in the other.

Not what I expected at all.


Most fear is based on the expectations of an overactive imagination and rarely grounded in experience. Facing fear doesn’t cure it, nor remove it. It levels the playing field. It takes our misguided, sometimes exaggerated expectations and reveals truth.

Honestly I have no idea how I will respond the next time I see a snake, I guess the proof is in the pudding so to speak. I can say I don’t shudder at the thought, and for me that’s something.

Is there a snake God calls you to hold? Some fear that has your skin crawling? May I suggest you watch and wait. A moment may arrive, an opportunity to hold your fear. When it does, be ready, grab the chance, seize the day!

Let God reveal truth as you let go of your expectations, for He holds all things…                      ALL THINGS… in His hand.

But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
    let the birds tell you what’s going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
    Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree
    that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—
Every living soul, yes,
    every breathing creature?—Job 12:7-10 The Message



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