Upon first noticing the evidence of a predator, I stopped to evaluate the situation. I sought the help of my husband to repair the walls and strengthen the weak places. When the predators continued to pursue, live capture traps were set outside the coop to catch them before further damage was done We have now caught two of the villains and stopped their ability to harm our flock.
Experience tells us to be vigilant- continue to set them out - predators run in packs and are not easily deterred. More come, not always the same way..not always of the same variety. For now, we have done what we are able and restored the haven of our barn. Needless to say, the damage has been done..scars remain...somethings cannot be brought back, and the sense of security has been shaken. This stirred my thinking....
In our lives predators eventually come. We may have secure homes, loving family members, safe environments, and our Lord..yet, they come. Being a Christian family, our home is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord. We are hedged with a hedge of protection made by God's Hands. The father of this home is the door, measuring what comes in and goes out by the Holy Word. Intercession guards the ones who reside here. Every attempts seems to be made to prevent the attach of a predator.
Yet, as with the farm, predators will come. We often do not know they are among us until the ugly evidence has been discovered. Wreckage and death are what they leave behind... scars on our lives and our souls. Predators of this world are sly and cunning..searching every inch of our haven for weakness; they will not stop until they find one. They will enter, destroy, and return again until there is nothing left.
Attempts must be made to reinforce the home; rebuild the walls that have been torn down. Cracks and crevices must be filled and made strong. Security and comfort must be reassured to the frightened, however, recovery is slow and the lingering effects of the attacks are ever present.
Beware of the predators to our families' lives...wrongful influences, inappropriate relationships, selfish ambitions, attitudes, gossip, improper images, idleness..depression; there are so many. Satan's tactics have not changed..he uses the same predators now as he did in the beginning. The Lord did not leave us without a defense; protection for our souls.
You must know the conditions of your home. Just as I must know the conditions of my barn and hens that live in it, we must know the condition of our home and the people who live in them. Are you built on Jesus? Do you have God's hedge around you? Is there someone in your home who stands guarding the door with wisdom to see and protect? Do you pray for you family..visitors...friends.? Are you aware of what your family does for entertainment...conversation...what do they try to emulate? Are you aware of an attack? Prepared?
When attacks come...be strong in the Lord..be of good courage and He will direct your path. Pray- immediately; seek His Word. Find the weak places and ask our Lord to help you strengthen them. Protect the weak and frightened in your home (even if they were the one to invite the attack in)..forgive and go from here...being aware of the possibility (or probability) that another attack is on the way-lurking in wait for their next opportunity.
After it seems you have made it through and things have settled, be vigilant and ready to stop it before it starts the next time. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses..and your families'. This will help you be ready next time.
Remember, forgiveness is commanded in Scripture. God says we must forgive..the predator..the one preyed upon..the one who let them in (if this is the case)..the ones that will come. Forgive yourself for not recognizing it sooner..or being more prepared..or not having handled it differently.This is a place where I struggle greatly.
Also remember to teach from here. Every opportunity in live- good and bad- the storms and the attacks- are teachable moments. You cannot undo what has been done..forgive..move on..teach from here. Everyone in our homes should learn from this experience and be the wiser next time. We never know when our situation will prepare us to help another down the road, so consider if you are willing to share it with someone going through the same thing.
I pray your home is truly a haven from the hustle and bustle of this world. Let us all, for our families, seek to maintain that safe haven of rest known as home.