"The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to a place prepared for her in the desert, where she could be taken care of for a time, times and a half of time out of the serpent's reach." Rev. 12:14
I'm unqualified to cherry pick the nuances of this piece of apocryphal writing, but there's an everyday lesson we can glean from it.
The woman was in great danger, threatened to an honest-to-goodness dragon (yes, they really do exist)! Logically the safest place for our damsel in distress would appear to be a castle or a fortress. Instead her designated refuge was...a giant sandbox.
Perhaps the only reason to flee to the desert is that no one in their right mind would chase down an enemy in such an inhospitable environment. Let nature take care of the problem for you. For someone running for their life, the wilderness makes a hard situation even more difficult.
Despite appearance, the woman's location is also her salvation. Undeterred, her enemy continued his pursuit and crafted a plan for her demise.
"Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent." Rev. 12:15
Note that both Jesus and the serpent are sources of water. Jesus' is living water, the enemy's is destructive.
Deserts are susceptible to flash floods. Dried river and creek beds swell and overflow their banks with dangerous swift moving water. These powerful torrents can handily engulf anything or anyone in their paths and sweep them away. At first glance the enemy's plan seems foolproof, but that's not how things worked out.
"But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth." Rev. 12:16.
Acting as a giant sponge, the barren ground absorbed the flood unleashed by the dragon. Enraged and frustrated, her enemy quit and left.
How does this apply to us? Sometimes we find ourselves in dire straits, desperately need of help. Rather than a safe comfortable shelter, God leads us to something just the opposite. Our outlook is bleak at best; nothing provides even a shred of hope. We're in a giant sandbox.
What's not immediately recognizable is that this is the safest place to be. Our desolate surroundings have the ability to soak up the tsunami the enemy releases against us.
How about you? Have you been or are you right now in what appears to be a desert? Does the possibility that this very place is where you need to be in order to be shielded from the attack of your enemy encourage you? Can you trust God while you're in this most unpleasant situation?
In Revelation the dragon failed in his attempt to destroy the woman. Following God will produce this same result for you too.
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