11-10-2019 Playing Possum


November 10, 2019


I believe I’ve mentioned the bluetick hound that was my hunting partner for many years as a teen. He was a good dog and I harvested many rabbits over him. But we had other dogs too. There was a Weimaraner, an English Setter, and yes, several Beagles. There was one Beagle in particular though that came bursting back into my memory this week.


Just a little background as to why… On Wednesday of this week my mother fell getting out of bed. The fall resulted in her right leg being broken in 3 places (2 at the ankle and 1 below the knee). So, on Thursday she had to have surgery to place pins in the breaks. I went to the hospital in Jackson for the procedure and spent a couple of hours in the waiting room with my brother. He has a Dalmatian that hates possums and will attack one at every opportunity. That reminded me that as boys growing up in Rives Junction, one of our Beagles had the very same temperament.


Numerous times while hunting I would hear a faint faraway muffled bark. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that sound and realize that it was muffled because he had made his way down a hole and was in the process of extricating a possum. As I reflected on this, I recalled a particular day that I decided to take the possum home to show dad. I had told him the dog was doing this and for some reason I had the impression that dad didn’t fully believe me. This time I would show him.


So, as soon as the possum was out of the hole the dog tore into it and I was confident the animal was dead. So, I picked it up by the tail and carried it the 1/4-mile home. When I got there, I laid it on the table on the porch and went inside and looked back at it through the window. To my surprise, that Possum raised its head, rolled over and made its way back toward the woods. It only played dead and when the opportunity came about, it took advantage of the situation.


I wonder how many times we have issues we deal with in our lives like I did that old’ Possum? We think we’ve defeated it… killed it… only to discover that it was only playing dead. And like that Possum, when the situation is right it raises its head and takes action. When that happens, it doesn’t take long and we discover it is alive and well.


My mistake was that I held on to it and carried it with me rather than leaving it lay. Too often we too hold onto those issues we struggle with. Rather than letting them lay, take our hands off them, and trust God to dispose of them, we decide to keep an eye on them. It is the biggest mistake we can make. Because sooner or later that issue will once again take action and over-power us. That’s why God encourages us to leave them in His hands and trust Him for deliverance.


1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)
13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.


Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry