Last week a momma duck decided to make her nest in the landscaping by my neighbors’ garage. This would normally be no big deal, but we don’t live by a lake. My neighbors are very sweet people, and they have adopted this mother duck and her growing family. As you can imagine, the neighbor kids (and parents) have watched in delight as she has returned each day to lay and protect her eggs.
Last night an even stranger thing happened in suburbia. As we were putting the kids to bed, my son looked out the window and yelled, “I think that there is a fox next door!” We all crowded around the bedroom window and watched in horror as a large fox chased off the momma duck and went for her eggs.
I stood there in shock. Since when did foxes move into my neighborhood? Initially I wondered if I should let nature be, but then I looked at the concern in my kids’ faces and I started down the stairs toward the front door. As I stepped off my front porch I realized that I didn’t have any “weapons” to scare off the fox, so I just started walking slowly towards the beautiful animal while yelling at him to leave. To my surprise, the fox stopped stealing eggs for a moment and just stood there and stared at me. As our eyes locked time was suspended for a moment and he seemed to be daring me to come closer. When the fox realized that I meant business he turned back to the nest, grabbed another egg and ran away. By the time I got to the nest with a bucket to cover the nest it only contained two of the original ten eggs. I suspect that this crafty fox will be back tonight to get these final two eggs, but this time we will be prepared….
As I was marveling about the clash of beauty and cruelty in this fallen world, the thought occurred to me that this whole event is analogous to our spiritual struggle against evil. The Scriptures tell us to, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, NIV) The thought had not even entered my mind that someone (or something) would want to harm that sweet momma duck and her eggs in our sheltered suburban bubble. In much the same way, we put our lives at risk when we fail to realize that the devil and his demons are against us, and that they are constantly looking for lives to “devour.” The Bible warns us to be self-controlled and alert. To me this verse means don’t attract our enemy by “chumming the water” with sin, and expect the unexpected when it comes to our adversary.
Fortunately the Lord did not leave us vulnerable (like the momma duck) and unaware of the devil’s schemes. The Bible tells us to, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7, NIV) Even if we are living a submissive life to God, the devil will still try to tempt us to rationalize our sin. Don’t give in! God’s Word promises that evil must flee from us if we stand resolute in God’s strength and Truth. Let’s take a lesson from the fox, the duck and the eggs and be on guard in the city, the country and in suburbia.