In the summer of 2015, Eloise was bit by a rattlesnake. It is only by the healing hand of God that she is still alive today. We are grateful for her testimony and we pray it speaks to your heart.
I was walking on the freshly mowed grass on a warm summer evening when the fiery pain shot through my foot. I knew I had been bitten by something. Afraid to look down, I screamed as Emily turned to see a rattlesnake clutching my ankle and refusing to let go. The seconds felt like an eternity as I kept my eyes forward, refusing to face the reality of the moment, until finally, the serpent released its fangs and cowardly slithered under the fence.
LESSON 1: YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THE SERPENT WILL STRIKE.
A few days before the snake bite, Miles and I took a marriage retreat. We spent time praying, talking, and having fun together. God gave us specific visions for every area of our lives. We anticipated seeing God’s plan transpire. We also worked on our bucket lists. “Miles, #15 on my list is going to be: witness a physical healing. How awesome that would be!”
LESSON 2: GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS. IT MAY NOT BE THE WAY YOU THOUGHT HE WOULD.
Just days later, I found myself in the ER, taking injections of anti-venom. Compartment Syndrome in my leg was a probability, and the swelling continued to creep up my body. Once out of the woods for surgery, the condition of my blood was the next concern. Toxins were throwing my blood into complete chaos. Venomous snakes do not tend to hold on to their prey. In my case, the snake held on, releasing every bit of toxic venom it had. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC Syndrome) was the diagnosis. DIC can lead to multi-organ failure, widespread bleeding, and even cause death if not treated correctly.
In this situation, I had absolutely no control. I began to see things from a new perspective when I accepted God’s sovereignty. My situation did not change, but my mindset did. Trusting God took the focus off myself and put it on my Savior. “God, where are You in this?” changed to “I cannot do this by myself. I cast my cares on You.” [1 Peter 5:7]
LESSON 3: I DO NOT HAVE CONTROL. CAST MY CARES UNTO THE LORD.
I learned to praise God in the miracles along the way. On the terrifying days, I cried out, “Jesus hold me!”, and He was faithful to do so. Rollercoaster, yes. Constant God, Yes.
Fifteen days in the hospital and 34 vials of anti-venom later, I was released to go home and begin the process of recovery. “Miles, you should be planning Eloise’s funeral,” explained Dr. Sharp. What a miracle! I had witnessed a physical healing.
LESSON 4: DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER AND THE BODY OF CHRIST.
With a room filled with flowers, Scripture, and food, how can you not experience the Presence of God? The Church is the avenue for God’s love to be expressed. I experienced love mainly through intercessory prayer. Intercessors are people who can carry us to the throne of God when we are unable to get there by ourselves. Jesus intercedes for us [Romans 8:34], and we intercede for each other. I was anointed with oil and prayed over by complete strangers. I could not have come out on the other side without the Body of Christ.
The truth hurts, but it will set you free!
LESSON 5: PAIN IS NOT WITHOUT PURPOSE.
That is the promise of Romans 8:28. God did not make this happen to hurt me, but He used it to build me. God turns misery into ministry. God promised this in the beginning,
Then the Lord God said to the snake, ‘You will be punished for this…You will crawl on your belly and eat dust as long as you live. I will make you and the woman hate each other…Her offspring will crush your head and you will strike her offspring’s heel.’
This was a foreshadowing of the Gospel. Jesus’ death on the cross was the strike of the serpent. But the resurrection was Jesus crushing his head, leaving the serpent in defeat. Psalm 91:13 says “You will crush under your feet the lion and the snake.” Yes, Lord, I will!
There were many more lessons learned from my experience two years ago. My human mind cannot conceive a God that is so powerful, loving, and good, but my heart accepts it without reservation.
This post was written by Eloise Bell. To read more about her, click here.