Tragedy In Our Neighborhood

Just over a week ago a family in our neighborhood lost four precious children. Our entire family had grown to love these neighbors. Their home was very close to ours. We had celebrated the birth of their children and enjoyed watching them grow. Stacy and I occasionally visited them at mealtime and observed the frenzy of trying to feed four young ones. We were reminded of the mealtime challenges with our brood of four. Our whole family enjoyed watching the little ones and hoped to eventually celebrate them leaving their nest.

The story turned tragic just about 10 days ago. Early one morning I was sitting in my chair in the family room spending time in the Word. I heard an awful commotion outside but brushed it off and kept reading. But, the noises were unusual and kept pulling my attention away. Distracted to the point of inattention, I decided to go investigate. I found the problem….

Mom and Dad Robin were in hysterics; crying out because their babies were in danger. There was a snake in their nest! They were beside themselves with despair and frustration but were really unable to do anything meaningful to remedy the situation. Their only recourse was to scream for help. So, I sprang into action. I grabbed a pitchfork and shovel from the shed and removed the snake from the nest. Then I removed the head from the snake.

Alas, it was too late. All four baby birds had been completely consumed by the enemy. He had gorged himself on a filling meal and was so stuffed he could hardly move…

So, why would I tell you this story? I was moved by the lessons here for all of us. Those robins thought they had built their nest in a safe place. It was on top of the coach light next to the front door on our porch. It was covered from the weather in a reasonably secure area… so we thought. I would have never guessed that a 4′ snake would climb up vinyl siding to get to the nest.

Here are 3 thoughts to ponder…
1) Your nest is not safe.
No matter what you do, Satan will pursue any means necessary to get to your children and disrupt your family. You must be on guard at all times. Dad, how are you guarding your nest from Satan’s crafty tricks?

2) You need other folks to help you watch your nest. That pair of robins could have used some help. They didn’t know how to ask until it was too late. I realize this is a bit of a stretch to humanize birds but here’s the real challenge. Do you know where to get help and are you willing to ask? It would be well for all of us to cultivate strong relationships with folks who will come to our rescue before the crisis hits.

3) I need to watch my neighbor’s nest, ready to engage. Here’s the deal… I was just a few feet away reading my Bible while a snake swallowed those birds. Had I responded to the initial cries and taken action sooner, perhaps the outcome would have been different. I wonder, how many times have I been satisfied to ‘act Christian’, reading my Bible and going to church, while families around me crumbled?

Well, there are lots of other lessons I could draw from this but I’ll stop here and challenge you to consider these then ask yourself some questions. You know that Satan would love to disrupt and destroy your family. What measures are you taking to protect your own family and stand in the gap for others?

I’d love to know some of your strategies!


The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy… John 10:10a

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 3:8