“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” Brennan Manning

Sunday, July 7, 2013

About the Bible- venom or medicine?

I think God likes to use illustrations to help me. :0)

About the Bible- venom or medicine?

If you've been beat with something, you tend to shy away from it.  Well, the Bible has been used to beat me over the head and make me feel condemned. However, in college God used the Bible to comfort me and help me to see Him. But then I started hearing what other people said and thought about the Bible. And somewhere all the other voices drowned out God's and I was so focused on not sinning, being perfect, and evangelism that it became a heavy burden. It became a law book, full of do's and don'ts, and confusion for me. The very thing God gave us to help us see Him and feed us and help us grow had turned into poison to me.

So I remembered a young girl I had taken care of that had gotten bit by a Cottonmouth snake while hiking. When someone is bitten by a poisonous snake prompt treatment is imperative because they can be fatal. The venom of this snake destroys the blood cells, which leads to a reduction in the clotting of the blood, and finally hemorrhage (bleeding) of the body parts. Symptoms include pain, swelling and bleeding at the site of the wound, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, numbness and tingling, skin-color changes, thirst, tiredness, tissue damage and weakness and can lead to shock and death.

The only effective way to save the patient is by giving them antivenom intravenously as soon as possible after a bite. Antivenom is created by extracting venom, or poison, from the animal whose bite needs to be treated. In snakes, this refers to a process known as milking. Another animal, like a sheep, a rabbit or a horse, will be injected with between 1/10th to 1/100th of one lethal dose of the venom. Over the span of several weeks, the animal will be injected with an increasing amount of the venom until it can comfortably handle a dose that is several times larger than the initial lethal dose. Then blood is drawn from the animal and centrifuged, which will separate the white blood cells from the red blood cells. The white blood cells contain powerful antibodies that fight off the effects of the venom, and they are the antivenom that is sent off to the hospitals. When I handled the antivenom, I had to be very careful because one dose I was told was worth around $2,000.

Someone had to risk their life in order to get that medicine. Snake milkers have an insane job; every single day, a snake milker handles deadly, venomous snakes. They put their fingers millimeters away from the sharp, fangs of asps, vipers, cobras, corals, mambas, kraits, and rattlesnakes. One slip of a finger and, well, its all over. However, they know that that venom is valuable. Newer medical research is showing that venom can be used in medicines to help with both strokes and malignant tumors as well. Snake milking is a dangerous job, but by saving lives it can be quite satisfying.

So, like snake venom, the Bible can be poisonous and dangerous. It must be handled with the care of a snake milker. We can't survive if we're just injected with venom. It has to be filtered to make it not lethal to us. In order to create antivenom, the horse acts as a filter. The horse is injected with a diluted amount of venom and slowly builds up antibodies that identify the poison and attack it relentlessly until it's destroyed. And those antibodies are the life-saver. So God knew that we also needed a filter in order to be able to find life and healing in His Word. So God sent His Son to take the venom for us. The venom of the law of sin and death killed Him, but He rose again defeating that Snake and death. And by His blood, we have a cure. In Him is the most powerful antibodies ever that cover our sins and heal our bodies. He gives to us freely. So the law in the Bible brings death until it is filtered through the precious blood of Jesus. But when filtered through His grace and love, we have hope and life in Him.  And God speaks to us personal messages of love in all of our everyday experiences.  His Voice is quiet and strong, full of peace and hope, and gives us the courage to keep going.


  1. wooot! first comment to christen your new blog!

    looking good and loving it already, friend. blessings as you tread the path before you on this journey.

    (and you know i can't leave you without a quote, so here's one that goes with the theme around which you've centered your blog title: "Traveler, there is no path. The path must be forged as you walk." Antonio Machado)

    1. Thanks Kelli & I love that quote! Life is an adventure & I'll keep walking & see where this path takes me. And know that Jesus is with me all the way!