Our second son, Keithen, and his family live in Paducah, Kentucky. Daughter-in-law, Jessica, is a very beautiful young woman. And, she is also very smart. She holds a Ph. D. degree, and she is a professor at Murray State University. She will be eligible to become a tenured professor at the university in September.
Keithen and Jessica have four children. Their two sons are involved in sports (the girls are in dance). Recently, Jessica took Brickston to baseball practice. Located across from the ball field is a nice park with a walking track. So, she decided to exercise a bit with a walk on the track.
She put in a set of earphones to listen to music as she started her jaunt. Outside noises were effectively diminished. She had not gone far when something hit her hard on the back of her head. Though stunned and pained from the blow, her initial thought was that she was getting mugged.
She turned around defensively and was surprised to see a hawk winging low over her. It was the hawk that had attacked her head! She flailed her arms at the bird, all the while moving decisively away from it. The bird wounded the top of her head, leaving talon marks.
Since the attack, people have teased her unmercifully about the hawk attack. Of course, I added my two cents worth. I told her, “I consider the attack as just one bird brain to another.” And, “Birds of a feather stick (or flock) together.”
Brickston got in on the act, too. He stuck a Pringles chip on each of his lips to simulate a bird’s beak and flaunted it in front of his mother. The picture they took and sent to us was hilarious.
Keithen thinks the hawk saw Jessica as a part of its food chain. But, my spin is that it espied her head of thick hair and considered it as a source for nesting material.
Regardless, getting attacked by a hawk and receiving injury from it was utterly unexpected when Jessica started her walk. I mean, there are hawks in the trees at the Branch house, but if one would swoop down and attack me, it would not be expected. The same is true for you, too, because of the numbers of hawks in our area.
By way of comparison, we often start our days not considering that we might encounter some sort of spiritual attack from the devil. It might come in the form of oppression. It might come in the form of sickness or injury. It might come in the form of a loved one who encounters certain problems. There are many reasons. But, the reason for it is because the devil is constantly “seeking whom he may devour.” He knows where to turn the screw in our lives. He is a dogged disrupter. He knows how to “hinder us,” as noted by the Apostle Paul.
The thing to consider is spiritual preparedness. Consider some appropriate ways.
First, consider the necessity of expectation during any given day or at any given minute to be spiritually attacked. Apostle Peter exhorted, “Be sober. Be vigilant. For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour.” Do not let your guard down.
Second, consider being loaded up with Scripture. Know The Book so that you can quote Bible verses or at least know where helpful verses are located. For example, when being attacked with fear, if you are loaded up with Scripture, you can reference II Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.”
Third, consider being in possession with the peace of God. In any given circumstance, the Lord wants us to have His peace, for peace will steady your spiritual faculties when under attack. Paul wrote, “The peace of God, which passes understanding, will keep your hearts (= how you feel) and minds (= what you think) through Christ Jesus.” Being steady with what you think and how you feel is critical.
These and other Bible points help us deal best with those “hawkish attacks” from the devil.
For Jessica, she might want to wear a helmet for protection. That hawk might recognize her, and try again.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.