I love our backyard. It’s an undeserving love, because it requires a lot of my attention and care. I spent yesterday morning mowing it, which doesn’t make it so loveable. But in the process I saw 5 frogs (4 of which were very small), two butterflies, two baby lizards, several grasshoppers, our pet spider, and a praying mantis. What helped me pass the time while mowing was watching this mantis try to evade the lawn mower. He was in the header strip I had cut, but each time I would make a pass he would freeze so as to camouflage himself in the grass. Then after I would make the turn he would crawl like crazy trying to move out of harm’s way. He finally made it safely to the sidewalk and then crossed over to the patch of yard on the other side. Unfortunately for him, that was the next patch of yard on my mowing agenda. As I started on that patch, I actually had to go around him once. He had gone into “hiding”, even though I could see him just fine.
The comparison came to my mind about how we sometimes try to hide from God when we aren’t in His will. We somehow forget that He loves us, and that He has promised that He will protect us, not harm us. We do everything in our power to try to protect ourselves, all the while hoping God can’t see what we are doing. We try to hide our sin, we try to work hard and “crawl like crazy” to cover it up, we even “freeze” in our walk for Christ and put our lives on hold, trying to pretend being out of God’s will can’t hurt us. If we would just repent and show ourselves, God would make sure we are protected. I was reminded, partly because I’ve been reading Romans 8 out loud first thing every morning this week (thank you Pastor Furtick), of
Romans 8:38 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
I’m not sure of the fate of the mantis. After avoiding him the one time, his camouflage worked and I never spotted him again, probably to his detriment. Thankfully, we are not able to hide from God, and He is always faithful to draw us back to His protection when we seek Him and stop hiding.
If you need a happy ending, the mantis was so grateful for my protection that he became a vegetarian and began eating grass. He converted all of his friends, and I never had to mow again. The end.