So I was reading the other day one of those google interesting facts and read that if you should find a snake you should not pick up by the tail. Here’s what an expert wildlife removal professional said:
“You should avoid picking a snake up by the tail only. Most snakes lack the muscles to be able to curl up and bite your hand; however, they can thrash and squirm enough to easily catch you on another area of the body. Holding a snake by its tail elicits a panic response from the serpent and will make it more likely to strike. If you need to pick up a snake, you can use the tail to control the snake, but equal support should be at the front of the body through the use of a snake hook or your hand. You should generally avoid picking a snake up at all.” (www.wildlife-removal.com)
Then the other day, I am reading in Exodus 4 about how God tries to get Moses to accept his assignment to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. Moses is reluctant to say the least. And so God helps him see that he is on his side by giving him an object lesson: “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he (Moses) replied. The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.”
That must have been one SCARY SNAKE! Surely Moses, working in Midian desert, had seen plenty of serpents. but this one…
Moses may have at least thought… “Whoa… all due respect Lord, but no, no, you don’t pick up a snake out here and never just by the tail.”
But to his credit Moses went ahead and it says…
“So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.” Exodus 4:2-4 NIV
As Moses touched the squirmy scales, it hardened.
Moses lifted up the snake turned staff —the same staff that would show Pharaoh God meant business, the same staff that he would lift up to divide the water at the Red Sea and the same staff he would use to guide two million people through the desert.
God took something scary, a huge challenge and turned into something powerful.
And I couldn’t help thinking… what might be scaring us? What has God told you to pick it up? Maybe that’s interviewing for a new job, or maybe that’s undergoing that next treatment, or maybe it’s that tough conversation you need to have with that one you don’t want to lose.
Whatever your snake might be if God tells you to pick it up, even if it’s by the tail… do it and remember he can take the scary stuff and turn into a staff of power, if we’ll trust Him and pick it up.