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Monkey Trap

It was 2002 when the original animated movie ‘Ice Age’ came out. I know this because my grandson Warren was about 2 years old, and we watched this movie together, more than once. (How can that be over 20 years ago?!) That little boy is now a 22-year-old man attending college in Corvallis! I saw him just this past weekend when he was in town. He drove out to my house, and we had a wonderful visit on Sunday. Those are special times! But back to the movie.


In the opening minutes of that movie there is ‘short film’ wherein we are introduced to Scrat. He is a saber-toothed squirrel that the animators designed for the movie. Of course, it is as the title implies, the ice age, and most everything is still frozen.


The thing you need to know about Scrat is, he is obsessed with acorns! And he finds one, lone, acorn. He does everything in his power to keep and bury his prized possession. I won’t go into detail except to say one disaster leads to another, and all over his great desire to hang on this one acorn.


When I was a child, we lived on a floating logging camp in Alaska. Often on the weekends, we would get in dad’s boat and explore. It was on such excursion that my dad rescued a bald eagle.


We were in the boat, close to the rocky shoreline, when we noticed a commotion. A bald eagle was trying to take flight but was obviously trapped or stuck. It would flap its wings frantically but there was no lift-off.


My dad maneuvered the boat as close as he could before throwing anchor. Then grabbing his thick, heavy work gloves, he climbed out of the boat and waded to shore.


That is when my dad discovered the eagle was trying to get a fish that was caught in the rocks, but the eagle had its talons stuck in those same rocks; its mate was circling overhead, the tide was coming in and daddy knew that if he did not free that eagle, it would drown.


Satan so often sets up snares for us and we so often take the bait. We find ourselves stuck on that rocky shoreline with the tide coming in; but Jesus says, ‘here, let me walk to you. Let me free you from the thing that will drown you if you keep hanging on to it.’


C. S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, wrote, "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."


Have you heard of a monkey trap?

A monkey finds a jar that holds a treat or something the monkey wishes to obtain. He reaches his hand inside the jar, grabs the object and then attempts to remove his hand. He cannot. Why? Because the opening is only big enough for an empty, open, hand. The monkey could escape by letting go of the object, but instead clings to it tightly…caught in the trap.


That was me! I was once a drug abuser, but God, in His tender mercy, freed me from that snare of addiction. I am a new creature because of His interference in my life. I was that monkey caught with my hand in the jar, refusing to let go. I was that eagle trapped, with my fingers clutched around the very thing that could kill me. I was on that rocky shoreline of life when God took pity on me and saved me!


He will do the same for you or someone close to you. Never give up! Keep praying. Ask God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I want to remined you that He will give the gift to anyone who asks for it.


I ask my grandkids or children what they want for Christmas. I might get an answer; I might get a long list, but there is no guarantee that they will get anything on the list. They can suggest, but it’s not a done deal.


Not so with Jesus. He says: ask! I will give!


“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?” Luke 11:10-13 The Message Bible


Ask for the gift. Ask for the Holy Spirit and then ask the Holy Spirit to be your daily guide. Ask for the help you so desperately need and want. All you have to do, is ask.


Ask, and remember: “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:7-8 KJV


Our help is in the name of Jesus. Say it. Share it. Call upon His name.


by Jeanette Stark – Thursday, December 15, 2022

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