Grab It By The Tail

by Rob Dunne

Image by Mohd Fazlin CC BY 2.0

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”       Joshua 1:9

I enjoy hiking. Prior to getting married, I often climbed Sleeping Giant Mountain where I would spend hours talking with God. On one occasion, I decided to leave the beaten path.

Walking further and further in to the woods, I discovered a nice secluded spot. There was a natural rock wall that was perfect for sitting on. Excitedly, I sat down, opened my backpack and took out my journal.

Shortly thereafter, my focus was broken. An adorable chipmunk scurried past me and leaped off of the rock wall. It seemed odd to me that a chipmunk would willingly draw that close to a person when he could have taken a different route.

As I pondered this, the leaves beside began to rustle.

A rush of adrenaline crashed through my veins like a tsunami when a scaly jet black head with a flickering forked tongue pierced through the veil of leaves and slithered within an arm’s reach of my position. Rather than give in to my fight or flight response, I recited Joshua 1:9 “I am strong and courageous. I will not be afraid or dismayed for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go!” All five feet of the snake inched harmlessly by me, over the wall and in hot pursuit of poor Alvin.

While Moses was tending to his father in law’s sheep, he witnessed a strange sight. A bush was engulfed in flames yet it was not being consumed. Curious, he drew close to the bush and had a life altering encounter with the great I AM.

During their conversation, God asks Moses what he has in his hand. Moses replies “a rod”. God tells him to cast it to the ground. Miraculously, the rod turns into a snake. God then asks Moses to pick the snake up by its tail! Why is that significant? Picking a snake up by its tail leaves you completely defenseless. A snake can easily turn and bite you if you grab it by its tail. In spite of this obvious risk, Moses faithfully grabs the snake by its tail and it turns back in to a rod.

Fear comes in many forms – fear of man, fear of failure, fear of lack, fear of snakes, etc. The question becomes, what do we do when faced with fear? Sometimes, we need to trust in God and grab the thing by the tail.

When Moses trusted God, the very thing he feared turned in to the rod of God. With it, Moses called down plagues upon the Egyptians, parted the Red Sea and produced water from a rock.

The next time you are faced with fear, grab it by the tail and use it in a powerful way to change your circumstances for the better. After all, fear is nothing but a liar!