Today the news relentlessly bombards us at such a rapid pace that it’s easy to progressively grow numb as wave after wave of accounts describing devastating calamities, local, national, and international wash past our eyes. Mostly we sail past the indescribable anguish that devastate communities, families and lives without feeling empathy or compassion for the people who are living with and through horrors that irrevocably alter their lives.

occupational-hazards-660x300But that didn’t seem to be the case with the story from a small beach in Disney World that a week ago, caught and focused the attention of our nation. Of course, I’m referring to the dreadful account of the toddler who was cruelly snatched by an alligator as he unknowingly played near the shore of a man-made lagoon on the grounds of a posh hotel inside the famed amusement park.

Imagine the idyllic scene of a beautiful family relaxing on the white sands in the shadow of a fantasy resort as they watched their sandy haired son stomp around at the edge of the water and waited for the fireworks display to begin…  only to have their world shattered in an instant when the large reptile launched itself from the murky and shadow water to snatch that child away, just beyond the protective arms of his father. You cannot help but wince in pain as you imagine what this family is, and will forever, live with.

danger-851895_1920You know, this horrific story in some ways is reminiscent of another family tragedy that happened at the beginning of time. While innocently frolicking in her garden paradise (still under the loving eyes of her Father), Eve was confronted by a soulless creature whose only thought was of her destruction. In an irreversible moment, she was drawn close by temptation, then snapped up and pulled under by her own yearning to drown in a lake of sin… And nothing has been  the same since that day.

I know that as far as analogies go, this one breaks down pretty quickly. Eve was solely responsible for her actions in response to the serpent’s temptations whereas the toddler on the beach was just an innocent victim. However, when you think about it from the perspective of the parents, the similarities between these two stories do serve to highlight the immense heartbreak and loss that our Heavenly Father must feel when any one of His precious children is submerged in sin and drowning in the grip of unrestrained desire.

So immense is the tragedy to God, and so great is His love for us, that He voluntarily suffered the horrific death of His own Son to provide the only way for us to be saved from the grip of evil. (Eph. 2:4-5, John 3:16-18, Rom. 5:8)

ad-1238799_1920The members of this family in Florida were ultimately the tragic victims of a hidden danger that was unknown to them. But… that’s NOT the case for humanity’s tangle with sin and wickedness. We have been adequately (and repeatedly) warned by God of the immense danger that’s lurking all around us, and beckoned to move away from the edge of disaster. Even a casual reader of scripture should not be caught unaware of our enemy’s schemes. Just as the Lord had cautioned Eve beforehand, the Word of God counsels believers to be leery of dangerous situations, vigilant against impure thoughts and motivations, and to stay well back from the territory of temptations that lead us into sin and death.

 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-11

14 thoughts on “Forewarned

  1. Karen, Thank you for pointing us to the Father. Sometimes we get so caught up in the story and the sadness that we forget where the true battle lies. Thank you for pointing us to One who has already won the battle on our behalf. Blessings to you!

  2. Hi Karen,
    We had our boys at Disney World for the first time when they were 3 and 1. I remember how precious that time was, so when I heard that report, my heart broke for this family. I cannot even imagine their pain and grief. My prayers are with them always as they live without their son.

    This post about sin and the enemy is spot one! He is there and we have the tools to fight him. But we can’t fight anything we aren’t aware of, so being aware is the first huge step!!!

    I loved my stop here today and am so glad we were neighbors at Suzie’s! I’d also love to invite you to stop by and share at my new link-up, Moments of Hope on Mondays. My prayer is to fill that space with the hope of Jesus each Monday. I would love to have you be a part of that community because the hope you share here is beautiful!
    Blessings and smiles,

    1. Hey Lori. I appreciate the invite to your link-up. I will be stopping by each week! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I agree. we can never beat an enemy whom we don’t know is plotting our destruction. It’s time to pay attention to the warnings of scripture and be aware!

  3. Karen, this is spot on. We have been warned about sin and it is up to us to live a life of awareness. It is also up to us to let our lost loved ones know about the danger of hell, so they too will not suffer the death and separation. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays,

  4. Oh man, what a gut-wrenching story this was. And I do like your application. Something struck me again as I read your post. It was a statement from Andy Stanley’s book about grace that essentially said sin changed the world so fundamentally and completely that we can’t even imagine what it was like before. The only way to experience that purity, holiness, and freedom is through the sacrifice of Jesus. Interesting to ponder! Thank you, Karen.

    1. I think I’ve heard Andy say that too. We look at the world and think that it just needs a little fixing up here or there, but our viewpoint and understanding has also been twisted by sin. 2 Peter 3, God makes it clear that the world is so twisted by evil that it needs cleansing by fire (vs 7) and that one day he will remake it into the beautiful (and safe) paradise for all of us. Definitely something to look forward to! Thanks Jason!

    1. You can’t do anything better for them, Sue. God says we are “without excuse” and so it’s imperative that people know, understand and accept what Christ did on their behalf! thanks for the comment!

  5. A much needed post in our world today! Even as Christians, we don’t like to remember that the devil is lurking around trying to snag us. Instead we just want to focus on blessings that God can give us. But just because we turn a blind eye doesn’t mean it’s not true, and that we shouldn’t arm ourselves beforehand.

    1. Few people want to believe that real evil exists and will be with us always, but the reality is right before our eyes. Believers must be willing to face the truth and arm ourselves with the truth! Thanks for stopping by Sarah!

  6. Excellent post! God has given us plenty of warnings and we also have the witness of the Holy Spirit to guide us. We can only blame our own stupidity if we get into trouble. With regards to what happened in Florida, I think it was more shocking that it happened within Disney World. Most people are aware that there are alligators in Florida, but far less aware that they are a danger within Disney World itself. People who live in Florida will probably say that it is impossible to keep them out of the waters within Disney World, but that is not obvious to most outsiders. I would have expected Disney World to be safe and if it wasn’t I would have expected numerous signs warning of alligators. It was a very sad and very avoidable tragedy – those parents were not warned, but we have been.

  7. This week was a really tough week, both in the news and for many of my friends. I grasp hold…greater is He…greater is He. It’s nice to connect with you today Karen:)

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