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