Thursday, September 30, 2010

Casting out Fear

Another low barometric pressure day brought about the rain, the worms on the street, and the crazy dog. I thought the pelting on the roof by the little drops was comforting. Lucky however, was once again in his pacing the house fearful mode that seems to lead to him bolting to distant unsafe lands. So I watched him carefully, until I got distracted, which happens rather easily. Now....uh, what was I saying?

Next thing I knew, I didn't see Lucky anywhere. I went outside and called him, checked under the deck, went back inside room by room calling....no Lucky.

So I grabbed a leash, tied my running shoes and was off jogging along the street calling, "Lucky!!"  I ran down the cul de sac and as I was passing our house again, calling out, "Here boy! Here Lucky!", I glanced at our backyard. Lucky stood there, in the backyard, ears perked and wagging his tail. Wonderful. Now he has learned how to drive me nuts by NOT escaping.

I don't know where he had been hiding, but after happily greeting me, he was shaking again and following me, tripping on my heels. So I gave him two bones and put him in the crate. He looked woeful but then lay his head down and went to sleep. The craziness slowly dissipated. Sometimes prison is a good thing, a necessary thing, a place to reflect upon our actions and consequences, and maybe reconsider right and wrong.

Judge: Lucky, how do you plead?
Lucky: By sitting on my haunches and lifting my front legs?
Judge:  Defendant!  I didn't say how do you beg, I said how do you plead!?Answer the question or I will hold you in contempt!
Lucky: In my opinion, being put in a cage demonstrates you already hold me in contempt.
Judge: Guilty or not guilty?
Lucky: It depends on the moment in the day to which you are referring.
Judge: Do you not understand I have the power to throw you in the crate for the rest of your life?
Lucky: In that case I plead not guilty....at least not in a mean way. I am guilty if you want to be strict in your interpretation, but you must admit I am nice about it. Does this mean no milk bones for dessert?

I sat by the crate as Lucky slept, so that he wouldn't feel alone in his fear. Frankly his fear was a greater prison than the crate. Asherel and I had done a Bible study that very morning on fear. We were looking at Mark 4 where the storm comes up on Lake Galilee and the disciples can't believe that Jesus is sleeping through the storm. They cry out to Him and ask Him if He doesn't care if they drown or not. Jesus resists the urge to return to Heaven where everyone knows who He is, and asks them , "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"   The implication of course, stated explicitly elsewhere is that perfect faith casts out all fear.
"Why?" I asked Asherel, "Why should they not fear?"
"Because God will protect them," she answered.
"So Christians don't drown or get hurt or die young?" I asked., "Is God not protecting them too?"
This was one of those sticking points for me on my walk to faith. The age old question of why bad things happen to good people. Where is God then? How can Jesus tell the disciples not to fear when ultimately, nearly every one of them will be hideously martyred for their faith?
"What is the end game, the goal of every Christian?" I asked.
"To be with God," she said.
"And what could prevent that?"
"Sin..."
"Yes, but who?"
"Satan."
"If we believe Jesus, do we need to fear Satan? Can he take us from God?"
"No," she answered.
"That I think is why we should not fear. If we have perfect faith (and none of us do) we know that all that really matters is eternity with God, not life here on earth, and no one can take eternal life from us once we have accepted Jesus's gift of salvation. That is the protection He offers to every believer."


Lucky cocked an ear. He stretched and I could tell his crazy spell had passed. I opened his prison door.
"Go ye and sin no more," I told him..

Bring me out of prison, so that I may give thanks to your name.
Psalm 142:7

You were called to be free. Serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

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