Your Own Cobra Story

Your Own Cobra Story

One thing I’ve learned about this journey is that every single day will bring something we didn’t expect.

Scheduling is a loosely put together group of time… nothing is in stone because every day is different.

Something will happen that will come out of no where.

Our feet hit the floor each day expecting the unexpected.

We scramble to prepare for things that we just can’t prepare for and leave the house hopefully ready for anything.

There won’t be enough time to do what we want to do. We might not even get started what we NEED to do.

We will be stuck for hours doing things that are frustrating rather than rewarding.

Important things will fail. Expensive things will break. Plans will fall through.

Disaster is possible around every single corner of life in Africa. and possibly around your corner of life as well.

Driving is dangerous. Walking is cumbersome. Sickness is all around. Terror is a reality.

In the spiritual sense, Satan wants to hang on to territories that he has held for centuries. And we are here to victoriously take it from Him in the name of Jesus.

We are in the enemies camp. Not just living in the camp… we are here to do something about life in the camp. To fight for strongholds. To battle for Truth. To stand in the gap for eternity.

And, because of that, we will have our own cobra story.

What is a cobra story?

For me, this phrase came from a friend. We were sitting in France, talking to our friends over skype about their life in Senegal. She was telling us about the day a cobra literally spit in her husband’s face, sending poison shooting right into his eyes.

They were new to Senegal, new in their home, new to their neighborhood and found themselves in crisis.

You can’t plan or prepare for that.

A cobra story.

My friend very sweetly said, “You’ll learn. You’ll have your own cobra story.”

Really… well… thank you?

I can hear her saying it. I can hear that phrase running through my head.

That phrase has encouraged AND terrified me.

It terrifies me in its truthfulness. She is right. Every day things happen. And sometimes they are BIG. Like cobras. and poison in your eyes. Scary. Hard. Like huge snakes hiding in your kitchen. Cobra stories happen to everyone. They are painful and sometimes completely impossible to understand.

Just since the beginning of 2016, 2 missionaries have died. Two dads with young children. Two workers here on the field in West Africa. One from a terror attack. One from sickness.

It terrifies me in ways I can’t explain.

My own cobra story.

Who wants that hanging over their head?

Yet, honestly, it encourages me as it terrifies me because I serve a good, good Father. I know that people survive and even thrive through these moments. God is with them… before, during and after. People who experience a cobra story will learn something. God’s name will be made known through their cobra story in a way that couldn’t have happened before or without the cobra’s poison. The terrifying experience will have value and purpose. God WILL turn evil to good.

A cobra story encourages me because it is an opportunity to trust and also an opportunity for God to dig up more unplowed ground and prove Himself faithful.

It presents a moment of decision to walk in truth, in obedience. It is a moment when the promises of God are proven true.

Cobra stories force me to put action to my belief in God’s sovereignty.

Knowing that each day has the potential to be life changing forces me to depend on God in unprecedented ways.

These realities of spiritual warfare and a sinful world are moments for the church to rise up and BE the church in our world. Moments for the gospel to spread across the globe. Moments to impact people. Moments for people to dive in deeper. Moments to inspire and challenge and breath new life of spiritual awareness into God’s people.

I can’t possibly prepare for the cobra.

And do I want a cobra story? NO! Wow… I pray daily that God would protect, guide, help, lead and surround us. I breathe with relief literally every night when all 5 of us are tucked into bed. I thank God when we wake up and I hear the birds chirping over my coffee grinder while I ponder what I should make for breakfast. I cherish moments of peace like never before. They are priceless and precious. Normal is wonderful.

Yet, especially with recent events, I must live knowing that God not only directs my steps but He also has a plan and purpose for every single minute of the day. Even the not-so-peaceful ones. That if something happens, He is still working. He is already there in that future cobra story. He sees my humanness. He sees my fear. He sees my potential. He sees the potential to make His name known in the nations through whatever comes our way.

And living here…

People are watching.

They see the toubabs, the foreigners, living among them. They see when our dog knocks us over and sends us sprawling into the street. They see how we react to little moments and big moments. They see how we react to life. How we treat others. How we live on a daily basis. They are there in the regular moments… they are there during the cobra stories. And they see.

And we have those moments to show them God’s grace, God’s power, and God’s peace.

We are handed an opportunity to share God’s love.

Cobra stories open doors and hearts.

Your Own Cobra Story

Cobra stories bring unity and shine light in dark places.

In our friend’s case, the cobra story opened up their neighborhood and quickly built relationships that we know will one day soon lead to fresh hearts that are open to the gospel. Because Jesus healed our friend’s eyes without seeing a witch doctor or a marabou or even a priest, God’s power was displayed for a whole neighborhood to see. Amazing.

Cobra stories happen.

I’ll have them. You’ll have them.

Do we live in fear?

{Honestly, I didn’t even want to write this post because it almost puts words to the fear… But I know my writing about it or not writing about it won’t change the outcome or bring about something that wouldn’t have otherwise happened. And maybe the truth of this post will encourage us all to stand strong.}

So do we live in that fear? No. We are repeatedly told in scripture NOT to fear sudden disaster or ruin.

We are commanded not to live in fear, not to fear the future or what could happen. We are commanded to LIVE a life of sacrificial obedience in the face of what may come our way. We are called to carry the gospel no matter the cost. To just keep going.

We are not to live in fear.

But, we are also given verse after verse about how we should live WHEN disaster comes our way. We are told where to run during the storm and who to trust in the midst of great trial. We are comforted and promised that He is with us even before we need Him.

Trouble will come. Jesus himself told us that trouble will come.

Things will happen.

And we must build a firm foundation that will rise up when cobra stories come our way.

Because right after Jesus said trouble will come, He said to take heart because He has overcome! He told us the end of the story!

We need to stand on the truth of God’s Word and meditate on His faithfulness. We need to surround ourselves with those who have fought the battles and watched God do the miraculous through their cobra stories. We need to believe that God is doing something even when we can’t see. We need to trust even when the pain is overwhelming. We need to hang on to hope even when the world is seemingly falling apart. We need to rely on His promises even when the realities of life hit home, hit my heart deeply. When the realities seem closer than ever.

Do not fear. But get ready.

You’ll have your own cobra story.

What will you do with the moment when it comes?


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’ve not been here in a while. Live has been hard, financial uncertainty, a disabled husband. I’ve been mad at God, but I long to trust Him with this cobra story. Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Well, there are so many of us standing with you in prayer over your situation! God is faithful and I’m believing with you that you will sense purpose even in this. That you will see His hand at work through it all. Praying for strength to stand your ground, fight the battle and overcome!

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