October 8, 2020
Volume 24, Number 36
A story appeared on United Press International on October 1 about a rescue operation that took place in Amherst, New York earlier that day. Police were called to a resident’s home where a buck (a male deer) was found entangled in a hammock. The hammock, made of netting, proved too much for the buck.
An animal control officer, aided by a “deer rehabilitator” from Fuzzy Fawn Wildlife, worked carefully to free the buck from its trap. The story doesn’t say so, but it seems the buck was free to go once the netting was untangled. The need for rehabilitation for the buck wasn’t mentioned.
My first thought upon seeing this story: “What a nice way to be entangled!” I’ve only used a hammock a few times, but those were times of relaxation. Strung up between two sturdy shade trees, a hammock is a great way to spend a warm afternoon. I’d be tempted to say, “Don’t rescue me yet! Let me enjoy this ‘trap’ a little longer.”
Truthfully, there are some who need to be rescued from their hammocks (or recliners). Proverbs 6:9-11 gives this bit of wisdom: “How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep – so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” There are several other statements in Proverbs about laziness.
My main concern, however, is not with sluggards; I doubt that there are many (or any) of those reading this. I’m more concerned with a state of spiritual lethargy. That is a far more common problem with even greater consequences than slothfulness.
This problem is illustrated by Peter, James, and John. It was the night Jesus would be arrested, and He knew what was ahead. As he left them to go pray alone He urged them to “Stay here and watch with Me” (Matthew 26:38). But they didn’t watch; when Jesus returned they were asleep. He then admonished them, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Would they have shown more fortitude later that night if they had prayed?
Years later the Lord used Peter to issue the same kind of admonition to you and me: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). To be “vigilant” means to stay awake.
Colossians 4:2 has the same warning: “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Have I become too cozy in this hammock called life, and forgotten to be attentive to things that matter? Lord, rescue me from my hammock!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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