Most people who know me well know that I’m a sucker for stray animals. Much to the chagrin of my next door neighbor I leave a bowl of cat food right outside the door of my third floor apartment. Many times when I’ve been coming home and walking up the stairs one or more “scaredy cats” have come tearing down the steps past me, not wanting any interaction with humans.
One day this week as I rounded the corner from the second floor up to the third I saw a cat that was not yet full grown by my door coming toward me on the stairs. It froze in place when it realized it was going to have to run past me. It began to panic, and looked around for another way of escape. The cat was backing up looking at me with terror as I approached. I just kind of chuckled and said to the animal, “So, what are you going to do now?” The closer I got to the top of the stairs, the more frantic the cat became. He kept backing away from me, and was looking over the 3 story balcony on which he stood. He was so terrified that instead of risking me touching him, he dove off of the third floor and landed on the concrete below with a loud thud. He just stood there for a moment, re-gathered his composure, and took off running. I felt so sad knowing that he was running in fear from a place where there was no danger. Not only did he run in fear, but he took a pretty drastic measure to escape a situation that in reality provided no threat to him. Honestly, my heart broke for the little guy (okay, don’t judge).
Later that evening as I was reflecting I heard the Lord quietly tell me, “You do the same thing”. How many times have I run in fear where there was no real threat? Just before coming home I was in a situation where I felt insecure and walled myself off. There was no real threat, but instead of facing it I dove off of a 3 story building in the form of walling myself off. The ways in which I’ve done this are countless. Usually my fear comes in the form of some sort of insecurity. Fear can cause us to do some pretty foolish things. I’ve walled myself off, backed out of relationships, gone on an eating binge, blew up at people and acted out sexually just to name a few of the brilliant ways I’ve dealt with my fear. What a lie we believe when we cling to our fear! I would have been so much better off if I would have just sat still, turned to Jesus, and let Him draw me so close to Himself until I realized He was the one that alleviates all of my fears. Moving forward, I am challenging myself to not get overtaken by the panic that comes from fear, and to invite Jesus in instead of running. Will you join me?
Kimberly ~ Counselor, speaker, teacher, author and most importantly broken but beloved daughter of Jesus.