Monsters in My Closet

The slide, thump, slide, thump of my imagination raced in time with my heart as ordinary shadows of my dresser, lamp, and bedpost turned into monsters ambling closer to surround me. While I held a feeble shield of covers drawn taunt around my body, I closed my eyes in my last defense against the things that lurked beyond. Midnight, one o’clock, two o’clock and on, my fear of these quiet hours turned my room into something that it was not. Thankfully, when the morning came all my fears were forgotten in the light. But when night came again, the cycle repeated, and I trembled in fear at the monsters in my closet.

As the years passed, so did my fear of the dark. What a childish thing, one may think, if I still needed a nightlight to calm my anxiety when everything fell quiet in the house. But, as an adult, another monster hid. Come to find out, the fears I had as a child simply evolved with my maturity.

Worry⎯the grown-up word for fear⎯over money, or lack there of, crept into my thoughts. How in the world were my husband and I going to provide for our family while pursuing a career in missions? Our budget turned inside out, upside down, and sideways, couldn’t add up to the outgoing expenses. Lack of sleep, tears, and anger were the result of my fret. This monster was eating me alive.

The fear of change, coinciding with the fear of the unknown, accounted for many stubborn rounds of arguments with God. Ironically, I had prayed that I wanted to be used by, but when God said I needed to uproot my family and move to a foreign land, I then told God that I wanted to be used by Him any other way but that. The monster of preconceived notions on what it would be like to live in Africa wasn’t allowing God to fully use me.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) says,

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua was about to face armies greater than himself, but not greater than God. And we can still hold to the truth of this verse today. In this life, there will always be darkness. Monsters called by many names wait with the intention to come out of closets and make us fear them to the point of inactivity.

What fears have immobilized you from being used by God?

Though my family’s budget never balanced in human strength, God alone not only took care of our needs but also provided blessing more than what we could’ve ever imagined for ourselves. Up until the day my family left for Africa, I wrung my hands, but it turned out to be a life-changing experience. We still have our tough times, but we don’t have to fear the darkness. Neither do you.

Dear God, please help my fears not to immobilize me. Be my strength and my courage when life gets tough so ultimately you will be glorified.

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