Being an animal in the wild teaches us a thing or two about spiritual warfare.
Think about it: a creature out there in the elements is on constant guard. An enemy could be behind any bush, hiding behind any tree, lurking around any corner, in the dark, in shadows, camouflaging itself.
Stop a moment and think of how tough it is to be an animal, any animal.
Take the deer. Like so many animals, it prefers moving by night, when it is less a target for myriad enemies. A deer at any time of the day or night has to navigate through a world of speeding cars, sport hunters, coyotes, wolves, bears, mountain lions, and if they are fawns, even bobcats. These photos are from a trail camera.
The raccoon is wily — but also knows the benefits of the nocturnal hours. It always checks in every direction.
Also, they contend with each other, as do we flesh-and-blood humans, for certain — even flesh-and-blood Catholics. This possum took issue with the raccoon’s arrival.
Birds, meanwhile — greatly diminishing in North America — are at tremendous risk from stray cats, swooping hawks, those same bobcats, coyotes, and many kinds of snakes (sound familiar?). Their eggs can be taken by anything from a crow to a squirrel.
You may not like rats, but some pity is in order: snakes and everything else seem to go after them!
Butterflies? A bird can chase and will swallow one in flight — if the butterfly has made it past pesticides and the grates of a car in the first place. (Remember how many butterflies — yellow ones, white ones, monarchs — there used to be?) Witness the dearth of bees. Everything is also susceptible to our pollution and the tremendous loss of habitat (had to have all those parking lots and shopping plazas!).
Below is a bobcat — even while photographed by a camouflaged camera, discreetly out of clear view — and if you look closely enough at the second photo, standing on its haunches, it too peering around for danger.
This possum may seem happy (some bones were put out there for it; happier than the one above!), but a possum can itself be a sumptuous meal for coyotes, bobcats, alligators, large snakes, and panthers (in Florida). It is also the most frequent victim of cars.
Automobiles in almost all cases are a wild animal’s worst nightmare.
Somehow, it doesn’t seem like God made these animals, exquisite when you think of their adaptations, to be smashed by SUVs and Silverados.
Always on the lookout. Always looking around. Constantly ill at ease. At no time can a wild animal let its guard down, and the same is true of humans on this earth when it comes to enemies and armies (spirits) of the night. Even coyotes [below] have to watch at all times, relying on the instincts the Lord gave them.
It is only with extra-vision that we see what lurks and so perhaps we can compare the night vision of an animal to the Holy Spirit lifting our spiritual blinders.
A trial — for humans and animals alike — is the darkness and perhaps even more so the daytime of this place called earth.