Growing up in Southern California very close to the beach, we had items that represented that culture around our home. Sunscreen on counters, surfboards and boogy boards in the garage, swimsuits in dresser drawers, many beach towels, flip flops and my dad's diving equipment were an essential to the life we were living. Totally different from where I live today in Austin, Texas. I came face to face with that difference on many occasions. One was through a friend of mine, Dan Gattis. Dan is a godly man who was a leader in our singles ministry at church and offered his home for us to have a leadership mini-retreat. We make our way to Dan's home that is in the boonies.
It was a pleasant home; very warm and inviting until I start noticing things. Instead of sunscreen on the counter there were spurs. Real ones that he actually wears on his cowboy boots. This was not western decor. Near this counter top is a sliding glass door looking to his back yard. I look and see, right there just on the other side of the glass a cow. A real life cow right there, I could walk out and touch it. Next, I don't see any surfboards up against the walls but, hanging on the wall like a trophy was a shot gun. So, the awesome So. Cal gal I am took out a camera and started taking pictures. I was amazed. First, there was a cow in the back yard very close to the house. Second, spurs... hmmmm. And, then, the shot gun. Crazy!!! I was like Dan, you're a man of God! Uuuuhhh what's with the gun?
Do you know later that night there was something out there howling. It was super dark, no street lights or city lights so it was hard to see. At the sound of the howling, Dan grabs a shot gun and runs outside as he says a sentence. The only word I remember in the sentence was, "coyotes." That threw me. Wow!! Coyotes?!
Anyway, that night my understanding of how a real ranch operates had been enlightened. The owner cares for, feeds and provides for the livestock on his property. The livestock is very vulnerable at night and becomes prey to predators. The owner is aware of the danger that stalks his investment and will protect it. Any predator that crosses the line is faced with a serious consequence. Now consider the following verse.
"Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves." - Luke 10:3
Friends, we are the livestock and the enemy the coyote seeking to devour us. We are faced with a society that continues to strive to stamp out the truth of the gospel and keep us from sharing it. As American society continues to embrace immorality and practices that are displeasing to the Lord, the plight to share the gospel of peace will become more challenging. That challenge will be met with tenacity and determination to tell the Truth without fear. Be driven to boldness for Christ with the knowledge that He who sits on the throne protects and guards His children. Nothing is done to you on the planet without His foreknowledge and plan of action to make you stronger, demonstrate His power or both. If we are like lambs then the Most High is our Shepherd indeed; and in His hands is a shot gun aimed at those who seek to devour the redeemed. And, his aim is spot on. He never misses.