Bed of Fear


When I was 7 years old I heard an intruder in my house.

My parents had put me to bed and I had fallen asleep with ease, but for some reason I woke up at 11:40 pm.

I know this because my AM/FM Casio clock radio, with digital readout and snooze alarm feature, was the only light immediately visible in the room.

Within a few moments I realized why I had woken up. I had heard the door from the garage to the house open and close… And now I could hear footsteps in the hall.

As the footsteps approached the back of the house, I realized that the intruder was probably a burglar (I had just watched an episode of CHIPs) and having been in the garage he had most likely availed himself of one of my fathers axes.

As the axe murderer made his way towards my room I frightfully realized that my bedroom door was open… and that there was no way to get out of bed, close the door, and get into the closet before he passed by the opening.

I pulled the covers completely over my head.

I knew that this had very little chance of being an effective camouflage, since a deranged murderer with the experience that this one surely had would immediately recognize the shape of a child beneath the covers, so I splayed my limbs spread eagle while laying on my back.

Using my big toes and my thumbs I pulled the bed sheets tight by the corners, just above my nose.  Now the murderer would be looking at what appeared to be a smooth, but abnormally high, empty bed.

I knew that I would have to keep this pose during the excruciating murder of my family, but it was really the only way to remain safe.  I steeled my will, braced my nerves, and waited for the blood curdling screams to begin.

I woke up sweaty.

I had been beneath the covers for most of the night, and when the sun appeared I realized that I must have fallen asleep.  With some trepidation I searched the house, surprisingly my entire family had survived the night.  It must have just been a burglar after all.

I asked my dad if he had heard the burglar.

His response was, “You mean the burglar who turns off the thermostat and the light in the garage every night?  That’s me, and I’m not taking any money, I’m trying to save it.”

Though I was unaware of it, my dad was at work in my secure home.  What paralyzed me was the fear of the unknown.  That fear kept me frozen in place, theorizing about things that were possible, but entirely improbable.

This happens all the time doesn’t it?  We recoil in fear at the prospect that some sinister force is a work in our life.  Then, paralyzed by our imagination, we chew over the possibilities and anxieties that flood our hearts and minds.

We live in the realm of theory, speculating about “doings and goings on” when simply revealing ourselves to our Father would actually alleviate our fears and provide us with the opportunity to join him the work that he is doing.

Of course to do this would take believing that our Father is at work, and that his work is making us secure.  That security, in turn, providing us with the courage to act creatively and specifically on his behalf in regards to others.

The paralysis of fear leaves us mired in hypothetical speculation and pointless theorizing.  Our courage to act flows from the knowledge that our good and perfect Father has replaced a spirit of fear with the love of Christ and the power of his Holy Spirit.

And we don’t wake up exhausted and sweaty in the morning.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – II Timothy 1:7

3 Responses to “Bed of Fear”

  1. Vicki Hansen August 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    I too, remember some fear filled nights, sure that an intruder was inside our house. Funny, the tricks our imaginations can play, but the fear and sweat can be very real!

    • Jon August 31, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

      Sooo true, I bed sweat way more than I bed wet!

  2. Amee Lihme August 31, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Needed that reminder- thanks.

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