I am laying in a bed in the guest bedroom. My husband is out of town for a bachelor party. I’m staying with a friend. The sheets smell like lavender and I’ve pulled an extra quilt over the bed to be warm enough. I click off the light and strategically place the pillows to form a nest around myself. This makes me feel safer than before. I haven’t showered, the stubble rubbing together on my legs makes me cringe.
Oh God, the cats! I hope the cats are okay. Did I leave my hair straightener on? Or the oven, shit, did I turn that eye off on the stove? Surely, or else I would have heard it humming when I was eating at the kitchen table. Is the bathroom door open, can they get to the litter box and water? They are probably wondering when I will be home. Someone is going to break into my house and murder the cats. Yep, the cats will annoy them as they try to rob us, so they’ll just shoot them. I’m going to come home to broken out windows and dead cats.
And Andrew! Oh, I bet they are all so drunk by now. Didn’t he say something about a balcony? Didn’t he say he hoped no one fell over it because the house is on a mountain side? Good God, someone is going to fall over the balcony. A broken back, a bashed-in head. Yes, I’m certain someone will die on the balcony. And it will probably be Andrew. But he said he wouldn’t drink much because he’s in charge of the house. What if someone gets mad though? Andrew is trying to keep the house straight and pisses another guy off and that’s it. Off the balcony. Certain death. Someone is going to call me and say Andrew is dead. I won’t see him again.
It will be like earlier when I was cooking alone, except all the time. No one at home but me. Me and the cats. If the cats aren’t dead. What was that!?
Footsteps? I swear those were footsteps. Men with duct tape and guns.
The things I actually think. The worries I actually have.
The spawn of Fear.
Why do we fear things in the night that seem impossible in the day? I think about our physical condition at night. Our sight and our energy blunted. In exhaustion and blindness we become vulnerable. Physically vulnerable, but in the subconscious recognition of our physical vulnerability, our mental strength is also compromised. Things that seem impossible during the day become inevitable realities at night because of our inability to fight them. Lying in a bed, helplessly asleep, what match am I for an intruder? Yes, I feel defenseless at night. But there is an especially evil association with night that penetrates us on those layers beneath the skin.
Fire and storm and murder happen under cover of darkness. Don’t they? In the movies and mystery books? It doesn’t rain until the sun’s gone down and house explosions only ignite while we sleep. Murderers wait for a descending moon.
The fear I felt at my friend’s house is a literal example, but it reflects a spiritual truth. When we live in the dark, we flounder around by our blunted senses, creating and believing lies based on our misunderstanding. But in the light, we have eyes to see; the unexplained frights of the dark reduced to the tinker of an old air conditioner.
This is the same with God. Away from His light, I lose perception. Fear overcomes me because I am vulnerable to the lies, easily fooled at the apparition. For by my own power, what match am I for the Intruder?
Lord, help me relinquish my fear and restore me to your light. Dispel the lies of the Enemy as they grow like fungus over my spirit, covering me from the peace and comfort you provide. Trample my anxieties rooted in fear. And Lord, carry me through the necessary darkness.
God take up in your arms those living in fear. May they know you.
What are you so afraid of? How do you combat your fears, and in what to do you find comfort?