"Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me." Psalm 23:4 (NLT)
When you were a child, did you worry about what might be under your bed or in your closet at night? Things look different then. Simple shadows of tree branches can mimic scary creatures. Especially for children who do not share a room with siblings, the nighttime can be stressful before sleep overtakes them. Nightlights were the magic in our house. My daughter still does not like to sleep in a dark room. She isn't afraid of monsters. Watching Scooby Doo when she was little cured that. But she still feels more secure if she can see everything.
I wish I could say that adults never struggle with fears in the night, but I can't. When all the sounds are quieted and everyone else is sleeping is the time when our minds can run wild. Though distracted by activity during the day, once we are alone with our thoughts we begin to examine things that were said or done, whatever we heard on the news, anything stressful that we experienced during the day, those things that we are anticipating that could go wrong or simply whether we are adequate in our positions in life.
Sadly, monsters exist in many forms. Anything that we feel threatened by or that causes fear can be the ugly ogre that we heard about in fairy tales. And in the current times, we see them growling on the street corners, hear them screaming from the streets and dread that they may attempt to enter our own homes.
Can you feel that churning in the pit of your stomach? Does your eye twitch or your heartbeat speed up? I'd be lying if I said these things never affected me. As I listen to the news and witness people tearing down statues and burning down buildings, all while the churches are being ordered to remain shuttered in many areas, my brain goes into overdrive. We live in a nation that is approving abortions of even full-term infants, perversions of all types being "normalized", criminals being set free, our liberties being denied and our way of life changing rapidly. I admit that it scares me and I don't like it.
Thankfully, our Lord has assured us that we are not alone and that because He is with us and in full control, we do not have to live in fear. He has always been aware of what would take place on this earth. We have an enemy that is determined to claim this realm for himself and to create an environment in which our psyches are overwhelmed by the things of this world, including the monsters that we sense around us. The last thing he wants is for any of us to hear and follow Jesus.
One of the first sections of scripture that we learn as children is Psalm 23. There we are reminded that we are the sheep and He is our Shepherd. Dear readers, I wish that I could assure you that the evil that is playing out will go away and that we will return to our peaceful lives. I really wish I could, but I can't. For one thing, I cannot see what will happen tomorrow. Also, scripture warns us that evil will strengthen as the time nears for Jesus to return. The only One who knows when that will be is God Himself. We need to be on our knees in prayer and to put on the full armor of God. We need to be studying the Word so that we are informed and so that we will have the Sword of Truth which is the very Word of God to use against the enemy. We have to remember Who is in charge and Who to run to when we are afraid. His power, grace and mercy will calm and strengthen our hearts and minds.
I pray for each of you as you navigate the days ahead. May you be swept up in the huge arms of our Father and may you find security, peace and love there. The monsters may roam about but He is greater than any of them and will shelter you if you turn to Him. God bless.