First, there was the basement. I was absolutely convinced that some evil monster was lurking among the cobwebs and dark shadows beyond the steps. It was cold and damp, and strange noises echoed from the furnace room. Every now and then, my mom would send me downstairs for some canned green beans or tomatoes. If speedy stair-climbing had been an Olympic event, I’d have won the gold. I’d grab that jar, then spin around and take the steps two at a time until I reached the door to safety.
The monster that hid under my bed was even worse. I knew he was there, just waiting for the right moment to reach out and grab my ankle as I stepped into bed. But I outsmarted him. Each night I’d turn off my light and with a running leap, jump into bed with a height and form most long-jumpers could only hope to achieve.
But how remarkable it was, those monsters disappeared whenever someone was with me. If a friend of mine stayed overnight, that leg-snatching monster under my bed didn’t give me a bit of trouble. And trips to the basement? Well I was confident - even downright brave if I wasn’t alone.
Now that I’m a grown-up, I realize there are still scary places I try to avoid. But this time, they’re in my mind. When I send my kids off to school, I’m fearful for their safety and well-being. Sometimes I’m afraid of the future and what might be in store for me and my family. The very thought of three teenaged daughters with drivers licenses and boyfriends makes me very afraid!
But here’s the good news. I am not alone. I have the ultimate secret weapon. God is with me wherever I go.
So the next time I head toward a dark and scary place, I want to turn my fear into faith. Next time I’ll invite God to go along.
"Fear not, for I am with you." - Isaiah 41:10