From Campus Missionary Mary Rowley:
A few weeks ago, I visited the beautiful Wakulla Springs. My friend and I took the river tour and were both delighted and terrified to have our first glimpse of wild alligators. We were very glad to be safely on a boat! One swam across the river and we could see how stealthy and silent they are in the water. Once we were back at the dock, we were reluctant to enter the water.
The devil is like those alligators. Even a glimpse of one causes us anxiety, and we’re reluctant to leave our safe haven and enter the dangerous waters. The devil also reveals himself to us to cause us fear and apprehension; that way, we’re less likely to enter his domain. That brief glimpse of the devil’s power can be something as simple as bringing God up in conversation and being shut down. We automatically draw back to regroup, but often, we don’t try again. We’re too afraid.
The disciples might have felt the same way. After all, Jesus was rather unpopular; there were several times that they suggested other, easier options. But Jesus knew how to combat those glimpses of the devil – he gave his disciples a glimpse of himself in his glory at the Transfiguration. This demonstrated to Peter, James, and John that although the devil is terrifying, Christ is far more. They had nothing to fear with Jesus at their side.
We can rest in that same assurance. The devil can’t harm us with Jesus at our side. We can enter the devil’s waters without fear, because Christ has given us a purpose – to spread his love – and he will not abandon us on our journey.