Acts 29:3-5 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. 4 When p the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, q “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, r Justice  has not allowed him to live.” 5 He, however, s shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
I HATE SNAKES...hate, hate, hate, hate. If I see a snake, I will scream like a girl (sorry ladies), and run, crying out for my mommy. A quick Google search says that the "viper is one of the most dangerous snakes in all of Asia, accounting for thousands of deaths each year. Once bitten, people experience a wide variety of symptoms including pain, swelling, vomiting, dizziness, blood incoagubility and kidney failure."
Why does God let vipers bite? Here Paul has given his whole life to honor God and serve Him, and proclaim the Gospel (that Jesus alone can save us and that he paid the penalty for our sin, and that we must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved) and as the last book of Acts unfolds a nasty viper comes out from hiding and bites Paul with lethal poison.
Have you ever been serving the Lord and living in His grace - doing your best to propel the cause of Christ when...BAM! Out of nowhere comes a lethal viper and bites you. Why would God let that happen? Why does God let bad things happen to good people?
The next few blog posts will dive into this much deeper, for today think about this:
Miracles are only needed where there is a need. Instead of focusing on the viper, perhaps we should focus on the God who can overcome the Viper. Instead of focusing your attention on your tragedy, perhaps God is simply preparing to show You that He is in control of all situations.
"And I will...refine them as one refines silver,and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name,and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are my people';and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" Zechariah 13:9
This is just the beginning, and honestly it sounds easier than it is...Real life tragedies are just that...tragic...and the result is not always the miracle that we would like. Yet time after time, regardless of the outcome - we see God's love revealed. We'll look at more later. Until then - may you experience the God who overcomes the Viper.