Fear Flees to Safe Arms

safeinhisarms
The eternal God is your refuge,
and His everlasting arms
are under you.”
(Deuteronomy 33:27a NLT)

A bunny runs for her life. The dog is gaining ground. So close his breath feels hot and his bark rings in her ears. My emotions entwine with the bunny’s. Heart-thumping, stomach-clenching, bone-piercing fear.

My husband was surfing channels just as I walked past. I stopped and stood like a statue, waiting to see what was going to happen. I love dogs, and they were my best friends as a child, but in this picture I did not see the dog as a friend. I could only see myself from the perspective of the bunny as fear pounded in my ears and tightened up my muscles.

Hurry, bunny! Run! Run! Relief flooded my veins as the bunny got to a hole where the dog couldn’t reach him. But the dog stuck its head in the hole and kept on barking fearlessly, ferociously, forcefully. Tension again, then “Whew!” He could only fit his head in. And yet he persisted, and I could almost feel the razor-sharp snap of his fangs.

Bats swinging from above screeched and flapped, adding frightening notes to the scene. The dog was unrestrained while the poor bunny shrunk tiny against the back of the hole. Just out of reach.

Then in a flash one bat swooped down and bit hard into the dog’s nose. Yelping in pain, the dog couldn’t get his head out fast enough.

Apparently this was a prelude to a movie. I don’t know for sure, because my husband surfed on. I don’t know why, but for some reason I identified with the bunny. Maybe because my emotions have been more raw lately. I suppose the ominous music in the background didn’t help.

I had to watch until the scene played out. I just had to root for the bunny’s safety. I just had to make certain he was out of danger. Okay, I know this is just a natural scene of everyday life, but it stirred up emotions in me.

When deep emotions get triggered, I have to process why. So I stop and think as I sort this out. I know I often over-analyze, but this dog reminded me of the evil of a perpetrator and the devil himself (though I hate to think of a dog as a devil). The hole was the grace of God holding him back, not letting him reach me.

I am the “bunny” running in fear from demons of the past, then scrambling for refuge in the arms of Jesus. I run in and the devil can no longer torment me. I cry out, “Jesus!” And the devil yelps and takes off with his tail between his legs.

The bats? Ok, maybe they were just angry from being disturbed. But I like to think they were protecting the helpless bunny.

Do you sometimes feel like this bunny? Flee to the wide open arms of Jesus. And you will be safe.

The devil is a liar and loves to hit us in the vulnerable spots, shooting his arrows of lies into our thoughts. God describes him as always lurking and prowling around us, roaring like a lion, ready to devour us  in a weak moment.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

But a comforting TRUTH is that Jesus has already conquered the devil. We are safe in His arms.

“The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation).” (Psalm 9:9 AMP)

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Jesus Will Carry Us

Jesus carries us

When we want to know Jesus more, when we long for Him to mold us more into His image, Satan works overtime to keep us away from Jesus. He craftily deceives us. He grasps our feet and pulls us away and downward into a deep, black hole where we can see no hope. Without the powerful love of Jesus, there is no way out.

Satan knows our vulnerable spots and uses them to his advantage. I was sexually abused by a minister decades ago, and I have dealt with it and worked through it, but sometimes emotional triggers still fling me back to that place where I felt like a puppet on strings with no voice – where my feelings or wishes didn’t matter. That place where my mind disconnected from my body so I wouldn’t feel. When triggers fling me into the past, shame and fear flood in and suck me down like quicksand. I desperately try to look up to Jesus and grab hold of His powerful hand, but it’s so hard sometimes to lift up my weary head and heart.

But again and again, God has been gracious to lift my heavy head and heart for me. During a conversation with my husband this morning, two truths captured my thoughts:

  1. Our past may mold our future, but it is God Who created us in His image and He molds us to be more like Him. So we couldn’t be in better hands.
  2. The pain we endure here on this earth is nothing compared to the glory we will one day experience.

While we wait for that glory, life here on earth won’t always be a picnic, but God has promised: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4) He made us. He will carry us. He will sustain us. He will rescue us. And all the powers of Satan and darkness will never prevail against God Who has all power in His hands.

ccheartline

Often inspirational music uplifts me and gives me hope. In his song – Carry Me – Josh Wilson sings, “Carry me, carry me, carry me now from my sinking sand to Your solid ground. The only way I’m ever gonna make it out is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now…”