Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Hiding Behind the Bed

Our Chihuahua, Miss Cocoa, prefers to hide behind our bed (see Finding Refuge) during our many Florida thunderstorms.  We don’t mind it, since it gives her a sense of security and keeps her from panting desperately in our faces.  Lately, however, she’s developed a new habit.  If we’re not careful to block the entrance, she’ll sneak away to this favored hiding place in the morning, even in calm weather.  Since we’ve entered the summer thunderstorm season (we live in the nation’s thunderstorm capital), she tries to hide before we leave the house.  I think her rationale may be two-fold:  partly in anticipation of a possible storm, and partly because she doesn’t want to be confined to her kennel. Her actions, if I read my dog’s mind correctly(a scary thought) are based on fear  and just plain stubbornness.

Maybe I know what she’s thinking because I can relate.  One morning as I watched her heading for the bedroom, her tail tucked between her legs, I sighed to myself, “Some days we all wish we could hide behind the bed.”

Just like Miss Cocoa, sometimes it’s fear that makes me want to go hide for the day,  usually fear of something that may or may not actually happen.  With help from the enemy, my mind has anticipated a problem or conflict and grown it out of proportion.  Rather than face it head-on, I’d prefer to join the dog behind the bed for the day.  Thankfully, I’ve learned that most of what I fear and worry about is not nearly so terrible as I’d imagined.

Then again, sometimes I’m just plain stubborn.  (I know, it’s hard to imagine, but play along with me)  God wants me to do something, or stop doing something, and I’d really prefer to have my own way.  I want to do things on my terms,  without having to obey or cooperate with what is surely a better plan.  Someone hurt my feelings and I want to lick my wounds and stop playing the game.  I want to take control.  I’ll crawl behind the bed and come out when I’m good and ready, thank you very much. In case you were wondering, this is called SIN.   Come on, admit it, you’ve been there, too.

But here’s the thing.  As much as I’d like to, I can’t stay behind the bed.  Well, I could, but it wouldn’t be much of a life.  Besides, I don’t fit!   To live a victorious life, the life God intended for me, I have to experience the joy and the pain, the fear and the peace, and even an occasional storm.  And here’s the good news:

“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”   Zephaniah 3: 17 (NIV)

Hey!  Come out from behind the bed!  God is singing over you.  You don’t want to miss it.

Copyright 2011 by Mary Egidio.  Permission is granted to share this work, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.

Finding Refuge

Our long-haired Chihuahua, Miss Cocoa, is terrified of storms. This is probably not a good thing for a dog who lives in what has been called the ‘lightning capital of the world.’  Because of her acute canine hearing, she often knows the bad weather is approaching long before we do.  When she hears that first rumble, she comes to me or my husband with a worried expression on her face. (I know, how can you tell with a Chihuahua, right?)  Soon her body begins to tremble, and she pants uncontrollably.  We can do nothing to console her.  Our verbal reassurances do not convince her.  (this is especially fun in the middle of the night)    For some reason, the only place she feels safe is behind our bed.  I guess she sees it as the biggest thing in the house, and therefore able to protect her.  When the storm is coming, that becomes her place of refuge.

I bet you know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

The psalmist writes, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea… The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”  (Psalm 46:1-1, 7)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there.  I’ve felt the earth give way beneath my feet.  The death of a loved one, a job loss, a betrayal of trust, the rebellion of a child, a medical diagnosis — they can make us feel as if the very ground below us is slipping away.  It’s easy to try to seek out answers, to try to escape from the pain by seeking refuge in the wrong places.  But I’ve found them to be only temporary fixes.  No one can console and lift us in these times.  No one, that is, except the Lord Almighty, our ever-present help in trouble.  Sometimes I simply sense His presence beside me; but other times, all I want to do is ‘hunker down’ and hide in Him until the storm passes.  And that’s okay.

If you’re going through difficult days right now, or are starting to hear the rumbles in the distance, don’t be afraid.  God is your refuge.  Run to Him for consolation.

‘The God of Jacob is our fortress.’  That’s a pretty safe place to hide behind, don’t you think?

Copyright 2010 Mary E. Egidio – Permission is granted to share this devotional, but only with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.