Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
For the LORD will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.
– Proverbs 3:24-26
Our son’s pet Solo is a street dog adopted from a local humane shelter.
Solo makes up in sweetness, though, for what she lacks in social graces. She has gratefully accepted our offer of room and board in exchange for her companionship.
As with most dogs, she employs a set of mystical rules by which she categorizes other objects, both living and inanimate, into friend or foe. She fearlessly defends her turf against stray coyotes, cows, deer, skunks, and raccoons. But she runs trembling when she hears the closet door under the stairway open. Under the stairway, evidently, lurks the stuff of rescue dog nightmares: a broom and vacuum cleaner. She has never been assaulted by either of these objects. But a dog never knows when it might happen and must always be prepared for the worst.
Lately, a new and frightening threat has consumed Solo’s fertile imagination. After endless mornings filling the dog’s food and water dishes, I decided to get a set of those self-feeder/waterer contraptions. I got a little carried away and bought the large size of each, imagining the heady feeling of freedom I would have each morning as I lurched past the dog dishes on my way to fetch my first cup of coffee.
Solo accepted the new dog food dispenser. But the water dispenser was an entirely different beast. This dish made a sound. Specially, it glugged as water flowed from the dispenser into the bowl below. She was so afraid of being frightened by the sound that she developed an aversion even to eating from her food dispenser. Finally, I had to put The Glug outside in the cat kennel for our well-adjusted cat.
As we contemplate Proverbs 3:24-26, one wonders how often God shakes His head at our timidity. We cower at a new challenge because we’re afraid of the unknown, terrified not of what has happened to us, but of what awaits in the shadows of our imagination.
Sometimes, our fears are rooted in past trauma.
Whether the threat is real or imagined, the enemy finds our panic button and pushes it.
Satan has only to glug and watch with satisfaction as we run trembling.
God, on the other hand, wants us to understand He is the Blessed Controller of all things. Whether the onslaught of the enemy is a threat or a reality, God is our strength. We are safe in His hands. We can walk confidently through any storm, any darkness, any stronghold of the enemy.
The wicked flee when no one is looking, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.