“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19
On August 11, 2020, about a month before I left everything behind in Colorado, I set out on a 60-mile round-trip bicycle ride to a beautiful, little chapel in Evergreen. The chapel had such a peace, tranquility, and serenity about it that always drew me in. It was a tough ride, but worth it to get to experience a little bit of Heaven on earth.
10 miles into the ride, I stopped at a park bathroom. As soon as I stepped inside, I looked down and screamed like a little girl (and a sailor.) Snake!
Next to my left foot was a baby rattlesnake, coiled up just inside the doorway. He was hissing, with his little baby rattle nub poking up trying to frighten me. It worked..
My first thought after my ridiculous scream was, “You will be able to trample snakes and not be harmed.” My second thought, was, “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I want to walk past little lucifer, here.”
There was no way to exit without stepping right over him. How was I going to get out?
I looked around for other snakes, saw none, and then texted the owner of the chapel with a picture of the snake. “I might be later than I’d planned since this symbol of evil is holding me hostage in a bathroom.”
“Now, what?” I wondered. It had been twelve minutes since I’d entered the restroom and mini Satan was still there staring at me, coiled up, and hissing. There was only one tool in my toolbelt for this situation, so I decided to use it.
I looked the snake in the eyes, pointed at him and said, “Snake, in the name of Jesus, leave! Just go! In Jesus’ name!” He hissed at me, stood his ground for all of about a minute, then slithered out and went to the men’s restroom.
No kidding! In less than 2 minutes from the time I texted the chapel owner, the snake that had snarled and hissed at me for almost 15 minutes, all of a sudden decided to leave. Jesus rocks!!!
I escaped my temporary prison and biked on up the hill from Littleton into Evergreen. After riding another 10 miles, I noticed I wasn’t feeling so great. I had developed a headache, chest pains, stomach and kidney pains and felt a little nauseous. Nothing major, but enough to make me wonder if I had been bitten.
10 more miles later, I reached the chapel, one of the most beautiful and serene places on earth (in my opinion.) A quaint, picturesque, stone refuge in the midst of summer wildflowers that opens to majestic mountain and river views. Hummingbirds were enticed by the wildflowers blooming in brilliant hues of pink, purple, orange, yellow, and white that surrounded the chapel.
It was there that I checked out the foot that had been closest to the snake, when I first noticed it. There was a red circle, the size of a nickel, on my ankle near my Achilles tendon. I could see one puncture wound and thought that something else must have bitten me, maybe a nasty mosquito, or something.
I spent some time with God inside the chapel, then, still feeling off, went to the garden to rest on a log bench, across from a majestic outdoor fireplace. I dozed off for about 30 minutes and, right as I was coming out of a dream, I thought I heard Jesus say, “I’m coming back soon!”
I woke up and looked around and saw I was back in my little Heaven on earth. “I sure hope so!” I thought.
I got back on my bike and headed back home to Littleton. I was quite a bit slower than usual and super annoyed to watch people pedal past me.
I made it home, showered, and passed out for the night.
The next day, I took a closer look at my ankle. Sure enough, there were now two very distinct puncture wounds in the middle of that nickel sized red spot. The punctures looked to be exactly the distance the snake’s fangs would have been.
I HAD been bitten!
A little research led to the realization the snake was, in fact, a baby rattlesnake. I also found that baby rattlers can be more dangerous than the adults, since they haven’t learned to control how much venom they secrete in a bite. I was blessed!
I had been a little off and a little sick from the bite, but still managed to ride 50 more miles after it happened. The message was pretty clear... I CAN do all things through Christ, who strengthens me…and protects me!
I didn’t know what would lie ahead, as I gave up everything to leave Colorado, but I knew God was not going to let anything harm me. At least not until He was good and ready to take me home. What a great start to an adventurous, new life!