Snakes shed skin
by Ann Almond
This morning, while Pastor Steve took his doggy for a walkabout break around the church, he found a shed snake skin. He thought, correctly, that April, Family Ministry Leader, would like to save it to show the Youth group. I snapped a quick photo, and thought about why snakes shed their skins and how, like many things in God’s creation, it can be used as a learning tool.
Snakes shed their skin as they grow, because their old skin cannot grow with their bodies. So, throughout their lives they molt, or shed, their old skin for new skin that fits their body, fits their maturity level. The old, shed skin is void of the snake’s colorful scales; it is dry, withered, drab, and lifeless. But, the new skin is shiny, color is vibrant, and it is protective since it is more elastic and strong.
I was instantly reminded of the process we as Christians go through as we mature in the word of God. When we first believe in Jesus Christ, we are a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.). In an instance, we are forgiven of all our sins and reconciled to God, and have the promise of eternal salvation. Our old, withered, drab, and lifeless life is exchanged for our new life in Christ, and it is not only vibrant and alive, but helps to shield and protect us from the wiles of the devil, the world.
After salvation, we go through trials and tests. While it is usually not fun, or comfortable, like the snake that needs to shed its old skin for new skin for its growing body, we need to continually shed our old skin, our sin nature, to stay in fellowship with the Lord and to grow and mature as believers. Because we continue to sin after salvation, which breaks our fellowship with the Lord, it is necessary to confess our sins to God, who is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), and then we our back in fellowship with the Lord and can grow and mature.
Snakes, like all living things, need to eat to live and to grow. As believers, spiritually we also need to eat to grow and mature, but it is God’s word, the Bible, that is the food we need in order to do that. Being fed the word of God through reading His scriptures and bible teaching from our pastor, helps us to continue our growth and should help us continue to shed our old sin nature. It is a constant battle, and thankfully we have a great high priest, Jesus Christ, along with the Holy Spirit, to make intercession for us and fill our soul with His spirit so we display our new, vibrant life in Christ.
Our trials and test in life are not designed to point out our weaknesses or failures, but rather to showcase our strengths and to refine us for the glory of God. This tests and trials also help us to grow that we might be able to help others going through similar difficulties in their lives.
Always to the glory of God.