I live in the city. While it's not the first time a city has been my home, Chicago is THE city! It's a whole different animal. I knew it was different when last January a sign showed up in our alley. Our alley affords us a parking space off of the street, but it's kinda icky. There is always at least one piece of furniture awaiting pick up & several full dumpsters spilling into the street. I prefer to ignore the smelly area. But I digress. The sign, which appeared on a cold gloomy morning, instructed us to not feed the rats. RATS?! Wait, we have rats? Who would feed the rats? I was offended by the very idea of them in my stinky alley, much less the fact that someone has to be told not to feed them. While I was on the look out for the dreadful creatures, the earth thawed, spring arrived & a new poster showed up: "Avoid Rat Poison." I had not seen any rats, but apparently they were still a problem. I am terrified of small animals such as snakes, mice and RATS.
The cautionary poster faded from my memory until the other night. Around midnight I heard our sweet kitty meowing a pitiful cry. Sitting up in bed, I looked down the hallway to peek on her. Coming down the hall was a rat. Yes, dear Wesley, R.O.U.S's do exist and they were now in my home.
"Oh My Good Golly!!! MATT! MATT! Wake up, there's a rat in the house!"
Picture me; short wild hair sticking out in all directions, standing on top of the bed with my heart jumping out of my chest; trying to yell without alerting the monster to my presence. Now picture Matt; oh heck, just picture your own hubby. They never jump out of bed alert and ready for action. And usually they are most grumpy. So while Matt tries to get his bearings, I keep an eye on the moving form. It has settled in behind a pillow that was left in the hallway.
"GET IT MATT!"
"Where, Babe? I don't see anything."
"It's behind the pillow! The pillow!"
"Kel, it's just Penny."
"No, no, I saw it. It's a rat."
By now, I'm hysterical and Matt is down right mad at me. He flipped on the light & grabbed the pillow all in one smooth motion. I screamed.
If this was a scene playing out on your television, the screen would freeze here with my eyes bugging out, mouth wide open and you would feel my fear oozing out of your TV set. Because that's what fear does. It seeps into a situation and covers you like a suffocating blanket.
Fear is the oldest trick in the book. Perhaps one of the most effective ones. Whether it's fear of harm being done to you, fear of the unknown or maybe fear of rejection; it can paralyze us. It is one of Satan's favorite tools because he knows when fear controls us, we are rendered ineffective in God's economy and we miss out on God's purpose.
We were not made to fear. We were made for victory.
We were made for God's glory.
Fear is a liar. It says we won't get the job. It says she won't like me. It tells us we will die. Fear makes you think he won't know your worth.
If I am afraid of what man can do to me, I never leave the comfort of my four walls. If I am afraid of what man thinks of me, I may never stand up for truth. I may never reach out & love my neighbor or befriend a lonely soul. If I am afraid, I may let my emotions rule and strike out in anger. If I am afraid I loose.
But the Word of God gives us truth that when we wield it like the weapon that it is, victory is ours.
Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.
You must not fear them,
for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.
He fights for you. So That whatever the situation, you will possess the land. So That you do not fear.
When I had stopped screaming, I was able to focus on the creature which had wrecked havoc on my good night's sleep. Sitting calmly in the shadows was my cat, Penny. There wasn't rat in the house. I had let my sleep fogged brain cash in on my wild imagination. Thankfully, Matt forgave me with a grunt and went back to sleep. My mind & body were not so merciful. I laid awake for at least another hour waiting for my heart to find it's regular rhythm.
If you ever find yourself in a fearful moment, even if it is a silly one like mine, follow Matt's example and shed some light on the situation with God's word.
The Lord is on my side,
I will not fear.