The Beast Within
But not all was bright and cheery. There were dangers unimaginable to the little mind. Monsters lurked in hidden and deep places; none so deep, so fearful, so captivating as the…..basement. What lay beneath the creaky floors of the kitchen? What so frightening it carried warnings of danger? What or who lived in its recesses? There were occasions where we ventured into its recess in an attempt to explore. And any time we began our dissent there would be a warning, “Don’t go near the hole, it’s dangerous?” The hole? What was the hole? Where was the hole? And worse of all what lived in the hole?
Stealthily, my brother and I made our way down the basement stairs. Slowly, step-by-step, careful less we be caught by surprise. Creaks and low groans caused our hearts to quicken and our pace to slow. Encouraged by the others presence we continued into the dank and musty nether regions of the house. It was dark but shadows shimmered as light broke through small dusty windows in the wall. Shadows took shape and led our imaginations to see forms so hideous they set our steps back a few paces. As still as statues we waited until we were sure that the monsters faded once again into the gray.
A light went on, my brother was holding a flashlight. The beam broke the darkness and exposed old and piled up furniture and paper. Treasures of old, forgotten by those in the world above and left to rot and decay. An occasional spider web was met with flailing hands and panic, only to be held in check by curiosity. Slowly, carefully, we turned to the right, back behind the stairs; off in the deep corner of darkness lay the hole. It wasn’t a big hole; in fact it wasn’t very impressive at all. The circumference was a little larger than a basketball. The hole was filled with water and a pole extended from its depths. With great care we moved toward this haven of demons. Step-by-step we approached our hearts pounding in our ears. When all of a sudden there was a large pop, a clank, a whir and a very loud hum! The water churned and swirled and fear caught hold in our throats and set our feet to flight. With haste we ran through the dark, we skipped steps as we ascended the stairs and when we burst through the door we didn’t stop until we were safe in the warm summer sun. Breathing heavily we counted ourselves lucky to be alive.
As an adult I realize that sump pumps aren’t that frightening. Yet, as believers we know that we fight a war of fear. Be not mistaken there is a spiritual battle raging between angels and demons. We may not be able to see the fray but nonetheless it is waged all around. As believers the unknown spiritual battle can scare us. We might not realize what happens in the unseen world but we feel it as it interplays with the physical realm. The evil one wants to make us ineffective for the King. If Satan cannot have our souls then he wants to keep us from impacting our world. Each tactic he uses is specifically tailored according to our own fears. If he can paralyze us with fear then our usefulness to the kingdom is diminished. Do you fear never having enough money and work night and day to store up worldly possessions and have no time for kingdom work? Are you afraid that people will hurt and reject you so you hide yourself away in the safety of your home, never to engage people for the kingdom? Are you afraid that people will see who you really are and not like you so you hide behind a façade of humor and cynicism that keep them from truly knowing you? We have not been given a Spirit of Fear. Through the indwelling spirit we have been given a sound mind; a mind that rests on the promises of God; that finds hope in Jesus’ resurrection; and stores up for the eternal kingdom.
We do not have to fear the darkness because the Son (Jesus) is the light who chases the shadows away. The holes in our lives are mere sump pumps and they do not hold sway over our lives because Jesus has overcome the world. Today you may cast off your burdens and lay them at the feet of Jesus. Take a deep breath and realize you are alive in Christ and He will give you rest.