Be Careful Where You Sit

The following series of devotionals are taken from Dr. Tim Miller’s book, Seasons of Reflection. You can find out more about Tim’s ministry and order the book by visiting

Sometime ago, a friend of mine, Cliff Forbis, was turkey hunting in Tennessee. After getting up early, driving an hour and climbing up and down hardwood hills and hollers, he sensed it was time for a siesta. Often, this is what your body beckons as the sun warms up the cool spring air and a gentle spring breeze greets the morning. On such an occasion, Cliff had been hunting for several hours and decided to take a short nap. He found a large beech tree and decided to park himself at its base. As he leaned back against the tree, he nodded into a deep sleep. Without realizing it, Cliff had sat in front of a small hole located at the base of the tree. No, we are not talking about yellow jacket wasps but something much worse.

Within half an hour, my friend was awakened to the sound of dry leaves cracking. You know, that sound a turtle makes as he pushes his shell along the forest’s floor or the sound a snake makes when slithering through the leaves. King snakes, black snakes, rat snakes, are no problem. Only this sound was not being made by one of these.

Cliff awakened to realize a large rattlesnake was crawling toward his groin. The snake was still several feet away. Cliff was completely startled as the snake slowly came into focus by his previously sleepy eyes. Now wide-awake - Cliff reached for his gun. The snake immediately coiled and began to rattle furiously. Fortunately, Cliff was able to fire between his legs and dispatch the snake immediately. In his own words, “I blew that pile of rattlesnake everywhere!” (I imagine that wasn’t the only “pile” he left beside that ole beech).

As one can imagine, he later told me, that experience ruined his entire hunt. From that moment forward, every stick and branch was a dangerous threat. Every dirt hole was potentially fatal and every creature crawling across the leaves was out to get him. “I don’t know if I will ever get over it,” he later admitted. “One thing is for sure,” he commented. “I was out of the woods before dark – that snake almost made me quit turkey hunting for good.”

Challenge: Have you ever been so rattled by something in your past that you couldn’t move ahead into the future without constant fear? You simply don’t feel like you will ever get over it. God’s grace enables us to overcome “the past” (no matter what has happened). Sometimes things happen to us or through us. Either way, God makes all things new. He can even make people new. Don’t park your life next to your fears or failures. Move on!

Thought: Although you may feel like quitting this grand adventure called life, you don’t have to stay where you are. Everyone and everything is not out to get you. Move away from a negative attitude and life perspective. Rise up and walk!

“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians, 5:17)

“Arise, take up our pallet and walk.” (John 5:8)

Posted by Tim E. Miller

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