Safe from danger

Published 11:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2022

Hi, all. Just a thought to help start your weekend.

One thing in particular that struck me as very interesting on our recent trip “out west” was that instead of the many thousands of pine trees we see here as we travel the highways, there we saw very large cactus all over the place. Dry and sandy conditions are not conducive to the growing of the evergreen trees in Arizona. However, those conditions seem to be the perfect ones to grow some extremely large cactus plants (that were tree height!).

I watched many a small bird scampering around on the ground underneath the cactus looking for a critter snack of some kind. But what was even more unusual to me was that birds had made holes in the cactus several feet off the ground above my head, and had taken up residence inside those plants, which I hope you can see in this picture.

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It seemed to me that the larger the cactus, the more holes I saw. And the more holes, the more birds were coming and going. This practice of making a home in a dangerous place under dangerous circumstances would be crazy for us humans. But those birds saw those cactus plants as a place of refuge. The points and spikes of the cactus help to protect the birds, their homes, and their little ones nesting safely inside. The outside barriers created a safe place for the birds.

We Christians look at the dangers of this world, and we tend to stray from them and stay away from them. We run from problems, we don’t like confrontations, and we certainly don’t like to feel the pain of the sharp pokes this world and other people have for us. Is it possible that we could be safe from the harms of this world if we take up residence where Satan and his minions might leave us alone?

What hurts him? Every moment we spend in God’s Word. Every good deed we do. Every person to whom we witness. Every Name of God we utter from our lips. Every Scripture passage we recite.  Every Christian song we sing. All of these things and so many more are barbs at the devil, while they are also protection for us!

I don’t know about you, but if you’ve never stuck your hand into a bed of prickly pear cactus to retrieve a lost ball, you have no idea of the pain that can cause! And yes, it takes some of us several times to finally learn our lesson. But sooner or later we stay away from the cactus. Sooner or later, the bird’s enemies will leave them alone in the safety of their “sharp” home high above the ground. Sooner or later, your participation in what hurts the devil (the good things of God) just might keep evil at bay. Why not give it a try?

Just a thought.’ Til later.


Rev. Brad Campbell can be reached at