Today I’m featuring a guest blogger who I’ve come to know online. Meet Elizabeth Veldboom–she’s a freelance writer and a student in Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. She has previously been published in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth Magazine and Susie Magazine, and enjoys blogging about helping others to overcome their fears. Visit her at www.thefearlist.wordpress.com, the place that is for the faint at heart.
Often in life tiny worries quickly get blown up until they are more than just possibilities, but reality. Being a worry-wart, I have done this many times.
One night my family and I noticed police cars scouring the road across from us as if they were searching for something—or someone. Since we live only a couple miles from a prison, it was a plausible theory.
As I prepared for bed, I passed my window and noticed the lights were on in our detached garage. This was unusual. I slowly crept closer, my heart beating faster. As I stared, I was sure I could see a man in a trench coat leaning against the side of our garage. You’re going to look really stupid if you’re wrong, so make sure, I warned myself. But he was there! I knew he was! Then he turned his head to look at me. I ducked, and ran to my parent’s room.
“Mom,” I whispered frantically, trying not to wake my dad. “I think there’s a guy standing by the garage. Will you come look and make sure I’m not seeing things?” We huddled together at her small bathroom window and peered out. Pretty soon I had her convinced too. “Should I wake up dad? Or call the police?”
We decided to wake my dad from a sound sleep. “Dad, there’s a guy standing by the garage in a trench coat!” Three of us now peered out the window.
“Where did you say you saw this guy again?” My dad asked. “I know there’s a weed on that side of the garage.”
“It’s not a weed! He turned his head and looked at me!” Without another word, Dad grabbed his flashlight and started outside.
“Be careful!” I admonished. Mom and I stayed glued to our post at the window. We heard Dad go out, but we didn’t see him. And the figure against the garage didn’t move.
In a few minutes we heard Dad climb back up the stairs. I rushed from the bathroom and met him as he placed his flashlight on his dresser.
“Just the weed.”
I was so embarrassed;I could have melted into the floor. I nearly called the police for a weed?
My dad’s eyes twinkled. “But it was a very scary weed.” I stared at him in shock. He wasn’t mad I woke him up? He wasn’t thinking about what an idiot I was? His smile held no condemnation.
We do something similar in life. Just as I ran to my father when things looked scary, so we also have the opportunity to run to our Heavenly Father. But I wonder: how often do we run to him in terror of a few weeds in our life? How many times are we pleading with him to send an arsenal of angels for an immobile plant?
Jesus says it this way in Matthew 6:27: “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” And later, “And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Matthew 6:30).
The more we dwell on fear, the more it becomes reality. The trick is learning to recognize when we’re starting to blow things out of proportion, and then stop to refocus.
I imagine God, too, sometimes says, “See? I told you. It was just a fear.” And with a twinkle in his eye, “But it was a very scary fear.”
When we bring our concerns to God’s throne, we can bring them without any fear of condemnation. And when we see them in the light of who He is, we see them as they really are—just weeds on a dark night.
© Elizabeth Veldboom 2010
Great post and great reminder!! Thank you for sharing! I’ve definitely had my share of moments like the one you shared and can relate to how you felt before, during & after. 🙂
What a wonderful, loving and patient Heavenly Father we have.
A verse that I like to remind myself of whenever my fears want to take over is from 2 Timothy 1:7:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Thank you so much, Rhonda! 🙂 I appreciate so much you stopping by and leaving some of your thoughts!
Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has those kinds of moments, because I have them often! 😉
Amen to that! We have an amazingly loving and patient Heavenly Father. And what grace to know that we can bring anything to Him, any time of day.
2 Timothy 1:7 is also one of my favorite verses! Most days it’s on repeat in my head, haha.
Have a lovely day!
Lizzie, awesome post! I laughed out loud when you said that you’d almost called the police over a weed. Hahaha! Blessings!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Donna!
Haha, I’m so glad I could bring you a grin! I find it extremely humorous now. Can you imagine if the police had come to take into custody the weed on the side of my garage?! Oh, but for the grace of God, lol. That’s one I will never live down.
Great story Lizzie! I too laughed out loud, imagining a weed wearing a trench coat! I guess the things we really need to fear take us by surprise, instead of lying in plain sight. Enjoying your articles a lot.
In my defense, it was a very large weed and the outline was very convincing, lol. Besides, I’m a writer: I have quite the imagination. 😉
I think you hit on something really deep with your comment, and I think you’re right that the things that take us by surprise are often the scariest. There’s a lot of fear in the unknown. And what time of day are people usually more scared: night, or day? The night, because things aren’t in plain sight. We don’t know what’s around the corner or what or who could be waiting to attack us. The devil works best in the night, because in the light of Christ we see him for who he really is: deceitful and powerless.
Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Aunt Ruth! I’m very glad you’re enjoying them.
Thanks for posting, Lizzie! I appreciate your candor and willingness to share your story with us. Blessings!
Thank you so much for having me! 🙂
Let’s do it again sometime, okay?
I would love that! It would be a privilege!