Fear scares stuff out of you. For real.
My Max loves to sneak around the house. He is forever hiding behind doors, under furniture and in closets waiting for the perfect opportunity to jump out and scare somebody. It almost backfired today.
He was home sick from school. Yesterday he was lay-on-the-couch-sleep-all-day sick. Today, it was more the not-totally-sick-but-probably-shouldn’t-go-to-school-and-spread-germs-because-I-still-had-a–fever-at-night kind of sick.
He was well enough to feel the boredom creep in and energetic enough to look for ways to address this.
It was just after lunch. He had discovered he was hungry again and had eaten something, only to have his gut protest the influx of food by sending him on regular bathroom runs.
I had just explained to him that since I had played games with him in the morning, I would now have to get a bit of work done. He would need to find something to occupy himself.
He smiled up at me with his warm brown eyes and fuzzy head, before scampering off. Happy with his compliance, I decided to quickly run to the bathroom myself before tackling the to-do list. While in the bathroom, I thought I heard a faint rustling sound, so called out to see who was there. Not getting an answer, I quickly forgot about the sound.
Humming to myself I walked past the closet heading for the office. My mind was already occupied with a project.
Suddenly, a blur of space pajamas and wild curls jumped from the closet shouting, “BOO!”
Completely caught off guard, I began to shriek.
Max’s eyes bulged. He stiffened. He went completely still. A look of sheer panic was etched across his face.
Frozen in place he finally managed to whisper, “Mommy, I might have pooped my pants!”
“Run to the bathroom! Keep everything clenched tight!” I bellowed.
Max rigidly shuffled to the bathroom as fast as he could without bending his knees or parting his legs.
Thankfully disaster was averted, but we learned a lesson.
Fear scares stuff out of you!
Fear chases out trust. It crowds out confidence. It distorts memory. Fear drowns love.
The people of Israel knew fear. Once they were bound by the chains of slavery; captive to pain and death. And then God, mighty in power and with an outstretched arm, set them free. He led them through the sea on dry land. He fed them Bread of Heaven and water from the Rock.
And yet, they stood on the edge of their promised land, afraid.
Fear pushed chased away the trust they had followed in a pillar of cloud and fire. Fear crowded out the confidence they felt in provision of daily needs. Fear distorted memory until bondage sang louder than freedom. Fear drowned out love of God, until all that was left was love of life at any cost. Even life lived in chains.
Patiently Yahweh pursued them with love.
Do not be afraid, I will bless you. (Deuteronomy 1:11)
Do not be afraid, I want to give you good. (Deuteronomy 1:25)
Do not be afraid, I go before you. (Deuteronomy 1:30)
Do not be afraid, I carry you like a man carries his son. (Deuteronomy 1:31)
Do not be afraid, I show you the way to go. (Deuteronomy 1:33)
Do not be afraid, I will fight for you. (Deuteronomy 3:22)
Do not be afraid, I will go with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
May we never be so fearful that after tasting and seeing that God is good, we let fear distort our memory and twist our words until we say, evil comes upon us because God is not with us. (Deuteronomy 31:17)
God is Love.
We can trust even when we do not know. Because God Himself is there before us. Wherever we need Him to be. (Deuteronomy 31:3)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18