The badger hole
I learned my lesson well, and it didn’t take mom or dad to explain it to me. I suppose I had already seen six or seven young years when my brother told me that he could hear it breathing. I didn’t believe him of course. All “little brothers” know that “big brothers” like to tease. He insisted it was true and convinced me to check it out for myself.
We were out gopher hunting in the pasture and came upon a big hole with freshly dug dirt piled high. Dad had told us all about badger holes, and we even saw one of those mysterious creatures along the road one morning. They were fierce looking animals with huge claws and sharp teeth, but for some reason I couldn’t believe that there was actually one in there.
“He’s really down there,” Kyle said. “I can hear him breathing!” Like I said, it was too incredible to believe. So rather than call my brother a liar I put my head in the hole to prove he was wrong.
“There’s nothing in here!” I said. Truthfully, I didn’t hear a thing.
“You need to get down in there. Then you’ll hear him.” So I did.
Being as small as I was, I soon found myself up to my shoulders in that dark, dirty hole. It was pitch black as my body shut out any trace of light from getting in. I shouted back that I still couldn’t hear anything… then it happened. “Grrrrrr!” It was more of a snarl than a growl, but I knew that the fun and games were over! I screamed and did my best to get out of that hole but I was stuck. Little did I know that every time I spoke Kyle only heard a muffled murmur, but the frantic kicking of my feet gave him a clear picture of my dilemma and soon I was pulled to safety.
I’ve told that story many times and it is one of my children’s all-time favorites. Some might call it bravery, but most would call it stupidity that caused me to wiggle down into that hole. The amazing thing, however, is that everybody has faced their own badger holes.
“I can hear it breathing!” “There’s danger in that hole.” “Pain, disfiguration or even death is just an arm’s reach away!” But we don’t believe Him.
God has given us clear and precise warning of the dangers all around us in this world. We hear His declarations but have a hard time believing or accepting that it may really be true.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8)
“Don’t take that first drink. Don’t smoke that joint. Don’t go to that pornographic web site. Don’t lie, cheat or steal.” Trust me, he’s there. The badger is real and it is real danger. I’m glad I learned my lesson early in life and thankfully there are no scars that come with my story. I wish that all could say the same, but some have been scratched, bitten and terrorized by the badger. Maybe you are standing over that badger hole wondering… “Is he really in there?” Yes, he is. Your enemy the devil wants to destroy your life, and he will if you let him. God, on the other hand, wants to save you. Put your faith, hope and trust in Him and you will not be sorry.
Kevin Petersen is pastor of the Glendive Assembly of God church.