Some years ago we spent 6 months in Tucson, Arizona and one particular adventure we enjoyed as a family with our 2 young children was walking through one of the desert parks, complete with many varieties of cacti. I still have the picture of our kids pretending to get stuck by the cholla cactus plant, also known as the jumping cactus.
The cholla is a unique cactus either shrubby or tree-like found in the hot deserts of the American Southwest. All have cylindrical steams with sharp spines and segmented joints storing water, aiding in photosynthesis and flower production.
Why are these cacti so interesting? The segmented stems with their tenacious spines will actually pull away from the plant if something or someone gets too close to it and attach to skin, fur, or clothing. It gives the idea of the cactus jumping on you, thus the nickname of jumping cactus.
So, what does the cholla cactus have to do with your spiritual walk? I’m reminded of what Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV says. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
The cares and worries of the world can so easily beset us (just like the cholla cactus). We saw that in action during the Coronavirus epidemic earlier this year. People who normally would not be fearful, suddenly became fearful and afraid of everything. FEAR became as the cholla trying to attach itself on as many people as possible.
Fear should not have any place in a believer’s thoughts or life. We’ve ‘not been given the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind’ 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us. Why? Because fear easily tangle us up in worry, anxiety, stress and more fear. But you’ve been delivered from it.
You can be bombarded with cholla-like fear and easily tormented allowing your thoughts to center on the fear(s). Or, you can experience peace of mind by walking in faith, centering your thinking, your focus on Jesus.
You can counter any cholla-like attacks and be free of fear because you are an overcomer!