by Tad Lindley
There was a day when it seemed that everybody who went up to the Holitna River caught moose. People from the coast were even going all the way up to the Kuskokwim and bringing back boatloads of meat. In those days, we ate moose meat. Then lean times came. Men who invested thousands of dollars in gas and gear were coming home empty.
The predator pit
The moose population had entered into what biologists call a “predator pit”. In a healthy situation, moose give birth to enough calves each year to replace the number of moose being killed by predators and hunters. A predator pit occurs when a population of moose gets small enough that the predators, wolves and bears, keep the population very small by killing lots of calves and pregnant cows. Once in a predator pit, it is very difficult for the population to grow. In this situation the only way to get the moose population to grow is to lift them out of the predator pit. Predator control, such as aerial wolf hunting, is an effective way to do this.
On the Lower Kuskokwim, the primary predator of moose is not wolves, but humans. The five year moratorium on moose hunting has lifted moose out of the predator pit on the Lower Kuskokwim. As long as hunters leave cows and calves alone, we can expect the population to remain healthy and feed many families on the lower river for many years.
I have only personally known two people who were attacked by wolves, but I have known scores that were attacked by spiritual predators. You may be one of them. At some point in your life, someone you trusted sexually assaulted you. Or perhaps it was someone who had significant power over you because of their position. At least one village in Western Alaska had an entire generation of young men brutally abused by a church worker over a number of years. Much of this is type of tragedy is now coming to light. Still others have been taken advantage of by family members or other adults. Too many people, both men and women have made bad decisions with alcohol and ended up being exploited because of it. If you are a man and were never approached by a homosexual molester as a child or an adolescent, count yourself rare and blessed.
Are you living in a predator pit?
Sexual abuse is devastating. It leaves the victim with intense shame and humiliation. Although many people have been hurt just like you have, you may feel completely alone. You find yourself in a predator pit. You can only grow so far, but you can never break beyond, because the past always reaches out and brings you back down.
It may be years later. You may live in a different community, you have a different life now, but it seems as though you can never escape. You may be like the woman who can never allow her husband to love her, always creating crisis in the home and strife in the marriage. You may be the man who lives in a perpetual cloud of anger, inflicting his private pain on his wife and children. Maybe you travel through life drunk on mouthwash, marijuana, or methamphetamine, whatever will blot out the pain for a while. If so, you are living in a predator pit. Until you move on from victim-hood into victory, you will never escape the pit.
Escaping the predator pit
If you are tired of living in a predator pit, there is hope. Jesus came that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). This means that it is not Jesus’ plan for anybody to live in a predator pit. He wants us to live free. Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
If you continue in God’s word, eventually it will lead you to the plan of salvation. It is found in Acts 2:38 (a careful reading of the New Testament will show the same three concepts popping up again and again in other scriptures). I will not quote it here. I want you to look it up in your own Bible. If you are in a predator pit and are sick and tired of being there, you can have the victory. It will come through repentance, water baptism in Jesus’ name for the remission of sin, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Lord brought deliverance this same way in the beginning, and he is still doing it nearly 2,000 years later.
Friend, God has placed this article in your hand, because he is knocking on the door of your heart, wanting you to open it and walk out of victim-hood into victory.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.