What a delight it can be to sit back and listen to little kids plan their future as their hopes and dreams soar. Without a problem they see themselves as a super hero, or someone who grows up to be like mom or dad, while others go off on wild dreams that could never be accomplished. Mulling over in my mind the many things I had heard over the years I found my own plans stuffed in the middle of the list. I was one of those kids that was dreaming the impossible dream. Yep, as far as I was concerned I had the best plan of all and I remember sharing that vision with my mother.
I had asked mom one day if I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. Wanting to encourage me in my future plans of perhaps wanting to be a teacher or something she innocently replied, “Yes, Karen you can be whatever you want to be.” “Well then,” I quickly replied to her encouragement, “I want to be a monkey!” The part I couldn’t remember was the startled look that had to be upon her face as she tried to think of a comeback that wouldn’t discourage me from making plans for my future.
Years later after hearing a man speak on a Christian TV program describing an illustration about monkeys I was glad I had decided long ago to change my profession! He talked about how in Africa in order to catch and kill monkeys they had what they figured was the “perfect trap.” They took a coconut and drilled a hole in it and filled it with things they knew the monkeys would really like. After setting it out in a tree or somewhere they would sit and watch for the monkey to come along. Subsequent to spotting the coconut the monkey would stick his hand in the hole and grab the stuff inside it really loved. Unfortunately, with his hand clinched full it was impossible to pull his hand back out, thus he was trapped and the Africans would kill the monkey and eat it.
Definitely not a good choice on behalf of the monkey but sadly enough it is something that we are often guilty of doing ourselves in our spiritual lives. Satan in all his cleverness knows the ideal bait to put in what he would see as the perfect trap knowing we would reach for it and not let go. By gripping tightly those things we love that are not within God’s will, we find ourselves following the same pattern as the monkey that ultimately will lead to our destruction if we are not willing to give it up in order to escape.
Easier said than done is the task of “letting go and letting God.” At first we struggle in our walk, we stumble and fall and get back up but if we stick with the Lord we find the strength and guidance in His word to help us through such times of weakness. The tasks we thought would be impossible soon are accomplished as we find that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We are the ones given the choice to hang on or let go; die or live; lose or win the battle we find ourselves in with an enemy called Satan who so badly wants to bring us down and devour us.
Proverbs 3:26 says, “For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” The problem with this statement is that we have to be willing to let the Lord help us from getting caught. II Timothy 2:26 talks about a workman approved by God so that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, which has taken them captive to do his will; a statement that is good and sound advice for all of us to follow.
If only the African monkey could have come to his senses and let go of the thing he wanted so badly that led to his death. If only the average person would do the same coming to their senses what a victory in Jesus it would be. Once we open our hand and see just what had us trapped and evaluate its worth we soon find out that nothing is worth being trapped over.
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us Lord for those things in life that we think we need to hold on to that causes more harm than good eternally. It’s a hard thing to do Father God as we find ourselves shouting out in desperation “Take it Father take it!” Help us Lord to learn how to loosen the grip we have on things that we may give them over to You to become obedient to Your will.
May we always remember that there is no “perfect trap” that can’t be overcome in You. No ideal situation or temptation that leads us away from You that can’t be conquered. Thanks for caring enough that none should perish as You provide a way out if only we would take it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Copyright 2007 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing