Last week the night the cold front came through my bladder woke me up. (Not unusual!) After returning to bed, I noticed how windy it had become. Soon after that our home alarm system went off! I immediately knew that the wind had blown open the back door. It's happened before (in the daytime!), and I told Paul to check for that first. Sure enough, the still-locked back door was open. Paul closed the door, turned off the alarm, checked just to make sure it was only the wind, and went back to sleep. I, however, spent a few sleepless hours worrying about burglars. Because I have a totally-unfounded but lifelong fear of burglars breaking in my home when I'm sleeping. Don't know where it came from, but it's REAL!
So, even though my mind knew the wind had blown the door open, even though I have seen the wind open the door several times before (in the daytime!), and even though I looked around our house just to check, my fear was screaming, "Burglar!" at me. My mind said that I would surely hear someone walking on our laminate floors (I can even hear the cat walking if the heat isn't on!); my fear said, "What if they're really quiet?" My mind said that an intruder would leave when they heard the alarm shrieking; my fear said, "What if they didn't?" My husband reassured me that no one was in our home; my fear said, "What if they were hiding?" The dog reinforced my fear by being more restless in her kennel than she's ever been. My mind told me she was restless because of the wind, but, of course, my fear said - you guessed it- "Burglar!"
By the light of day the next day, my fears seemed silly and overblown, but they had been very real to me in the dark.
A few nights ago, as I began to drift off to sleep, I heard a clanking noise. I had never heard it before, and I thought it sounded like someone dropping a heavy metal something on the concrete. Probably a neighbor. After an interval I heard it again. And again. So, my fear again began shouting, "Burglar!" at me. I could just picture someone with some sort of crowbar or crowbar-like device ready to bash in my window. My mind said it was not a burglar, but my fear wasn't buying it! I finally woke Paul up. He assured me there was no burglar outside with a crowbar, but, since he hadn't actually heard the noise, my fear was not quieted. Finally, he heard it and realized it was some noise the heating system was making. (One neither of us had ever heard before.) Then I realized that the noise always happened after the heat came on. And I was able to sleep without fear.
The next morning I felt pretty silly. My fears seemed so far-fetched in the brightness of the daytime.
As I pondered these silly fears, I realized that so often I voluntarily remain in the dark and allow all sorts of fears to assault me. Not so much fears about burglars, but fears about things like rejection, being a bad mom, messing up, our church, and on and on it goes. God's Word is a light to my feet and a lamp for my path, but when I spend little time reading, meditating on, and memorizing it, I am in the dark and more vulnerable to fear. Jesus is the Light of the World, but when I am not spending time connecting with Him, I am living in the dark. I want to stay in Jesus and in God's Word, because I know when I do, I will see things much more clearly and be able to refute the baseless fears and worries that sometimes come. And even those fears and worries that aren't baseless will be no match for my Jesus!
The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? ~Psalm 27:1