Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Encounters with a Black Mamba--

Moving into our house has been, to say the least, quite an experience. There’s been a multitude of things that have needed to be fixed or replaced, from shower heads, to the oven, to the leaky roof, to broken windows. One of the things we felt that was very important to do was to clear out the overgrowth in the yard (we live in a subtropical area) as well as areas we’ve been told that are the perfect hiding places for snakes.

And we’ve found this to be quite true. In the past couple of weeks we’ve found six snakes hiding in dark, quiet spots around the house. The last snake found was the notorious Black Mamba.

The week before, Scott had found a snake in the garage. It had reared its head up and hissed at him before he was able to grab the hoe and take care of it. Now, while ripping down an old brick wall that was part of an old BBQ, the masons broke into the hiding place of one of Africa’s most notorious snakes--the Black Mamba. Just the thought of it is enough to send shivers up my spine. I’ve heard stories of Black Mambas chasing people for miles, their heads upright as the victim runs in terror, and rumors that they are the fastest moving snake in the world.

One of the Africans helping with the project quickly grabbed one of the tools and disposed of the snake before anyone got bit. With nerves a bit rattled, they finished tearing down the wall. The count was already two snakes that day (the Black Mamba and another unidentified snake) and no one wanted to have an encounter turn ugly. Thankfully we live two minutes from the nearest hospital.

Once the work was done for the day, I decided to look up snakes on the internet. Turns out, Black Mamba are the fastest moving snake in the world as they can reach up to 23 m/h. They can also hold their heads up to three feet off the ground while striking. And did you know that Black Mambas aren’t really black? Most have a dark olive, grayish brown or grey color. I also read that bits to humans by Black Mambas are rare. A comforting thought to say the least.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the verse in Mark 16:17-18 where Jesus tells his disciples to go into all the world and preach the good news. He says, “And these signs will accompany those who believe; In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all. . .”

Only God knows what the future holds for each one of us, but I know one thing--God is in control. He can calm a storm with one word from His mouth. He rules over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in His hand and no one can withstand Him. (Ps 10:16)

He is the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Rev. 15:3).



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