The wicked flee when no man pursues
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
It's kind of embarrassing to admit, but I have had a lifelong fear of dogs.
A fear that removed all dignity and common sense for me as a child. While I like to think I’ve come a long way in overcoming my fear, there are times the cold chill of terror takes over when an unfamiliar dog comes running towards me.
I know. It’s crazy.
So there was this one day... (I’m already blushing.)
My son had taken an interest in a new-to-me artist, Lecrae. Now, I am more a country/gospel girl so the hip hop scene was completely new to me. Wanting to do my due diligence as a mother, I decided to pop in some headphones on my run one afternoon and check out the music for myself.
I listened to the lyrics intently as I ran, though taking care to run as quietly as possible past the neighbor’s house. Their german shepherd normally sat guard under the tree in the front yard, seeking whom he may devour - or so it appeared to me. While I’m sure he was actually a nice dog, my childhood fear kept me from wanting to risk getting close.
Great! No dog - hopefully he was inside.
Danger avoided, I breathed a sigh of relief as my own home came into view. Lecrae’s ‘Go Hard or Go Home’ lyrics were getting a thumbs up from this midwestern, country mama… and the neighbor’s dog didn’t kill me. Today was a good day!
I heard him.
He was barking - and it sounded like he was getting closer.
Panic gripped me and without so much as a glance over my shoulder, I ran with every ounce of strength left in my body.
I quickly exhausted from the frantic pace and knew I had to face my fear. Stopping, I braced myself and turned to face my attacker only to be left standing there blinking in surprise as I looked around - there was nothing behind me!
Confused, I pulled out my headphones and discovered that what I perceived to be barking was simply the background beat of the music in my ears.
I couldn't help but laugh, but, wow, I felt so completely stupid in that moment. Despite my embarrassment, the lesson I learned that day has stuck with me - fear dictates your perspective and alters your reality.
Think about it. By nature, people are on high alert for the things they fear. And any sign of that phobia rearing its ugly head has us running for cover.
We run from the shame that tells us we aren’t enough.
We run from the guilt of being found out.
We run from the what ifs of life.
We run from the fear of rejection.
It keeps us on our toes, always looking around, uneasy, agitated, terrified of the thing we believe will be our end.
But what if you reach the end of your life only to look over your shoulder and realize that all along, there was nothing there?
This verse says the wicked flee - yes. But the lesson is there for all people.
What are you running from?
Ask God to put a finger on that area of fear in your heart today. Then stop. Turn around and, with God’s, help you can face it head on.
Who knows.. the very thing you fear might be a figment of your imagination.