The Night The Bat Got In
In all of God's grand creation, there is one animal that I do NOT mess with; BATS (okay, well bees and skunks too).
One summer night, I was sound asleep until I heard the flapping of a hairy little creatures' wings over my bed (Gah! I'm gagging thinking about it again). I'm usually not a baby about these things, but picture being trapped alone in a dark bedroom with this unpleasant animal which would get closer and closer every time you let out a scream.
To be honest; although I silently prayed under my breath that this creature would keep its distance, my first instincts were to face-time a friend. At 4am. I wasn't really thinking about it then but I'm guessing I thought it would be funny to have someone to panic and possibly laugh about this later with. Of course she didn't pick up the phone because normal people are sound asleep at that time without bats flying around their room.
I knew I had to get this thing out of my bedroom so I started googling how to remove a bat but needless to say, those resources were the least bit helpful and only brought confusion.
After failed attempts to get this bat back outdoors, the light-bulb went off and I remembered I had a friend on the West Coast who was still awake and competent in bat removal (five to be exact). I shot her a text and she responded within seconds.
This friend could speak from experience and she guided me step by step in what to do. She even explained that the bat would get closer to me every time I screamed because they are attracted to sound and light (you learn something new every day).
I may or may not have swung open my door, thrown my books off my night-stand into the hallway and took off screaming while wrapped up in my comforter like a burrito. Only to swing open my apartment door and blast an obnoxious playlist while laying in the fetal position on my kitchen floor. Simultaneously apologizing to the neighbor living beneath me for waking her up at an ungodly hour... But within minutes of calling on the friend who knew what she was doing, the bat was gone.
After finally being able to breath normally again, I contemplated why I didn't call on my friend sooner. The friend who had walked through the same experience, had answers, and cared enough to encourage and push me out of my comfort zone in order for me to have peace in my home again.
When something scary or unexpected barges into your life and you find that unpleasant sense of fear lingering within, whats your initial response? Maybe you've had a health scare? Maybe you've lost something or someone very important to you? Maybe you're experiencing an unplanned financial struggle? Maybe people you care about have even gossiped about you and it got back to you?
Trust me, I can relate. I think its quite common to find ourselves running to our friends and family to vent before we think of running to God. Sometimes we even try to look at the best self-help resource or do our research and obsess over details in attempt to fix our problems in our own strength. When we go about these routes we continue to find ourselves restless and without peace. If these routes don't give us the ultimate peace, how should we responding appropriately?
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
When fear enters the picture, its crucial that we go to the one who has faced the same temptation of fear and is able to sympathize with us (Hebrews 4:15). The one who is aware of all of the circumstances and is capable of guiding us out of this temptation into the peace that He alone provides (1 Corinthians 10:13). The one who poured out his life in your place and calls you to draw near to him, Jesus Christ himself (James 4:8).
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 ESV
Instead of relying on our own wisdom when responding to fear, we should humble ourselves before the Lord and ask Him how to approach the situation. Here are a few questions we can ask ourselves.
- Who or what have we been turning to instead of Christ for peace and comfort and why has this failed to satisfy us fully like He can?
- Have we vulnerably approached the Lord and cried out to Him as Father, admitting our need for Him to be our ultimate peace and comfort?
- Do we trust that God is sovereign and are we surrendering our circumstances into His hands instead of looking to control them ourselves?
- Have we responded by taking our eyes off ourselves and placing them onto the source of our security, God himself?
- Are we actually preaching the Gospel to ourselves every day and praising Him for what is truly unshakeable? What He alone accomplished at the cross.
When our lives are interrupted with overwhelming concerns we should immediately call on Christ. The one who is not a stranger to our situation and knows what we ultimately need, His peace. Not only does He want to guide us through each step but He wants His peace to rule in our hearts. When our peace is rooted in the fleeting ups and downs life throws at us, we miss out on the solid foundation Christ provides. As we meditate on His word, we can be reminded that He will never fail or forsake those who are in Christ. Though external circumstances might not fall into place the way you have planned, Christ wants to remove the fear that is bothering you and replace it with the peace that comes from the hope He has secured at the cross. As we look to Him we can find deep rest and allow the peace of Christ to truly guard our minds and rule in our hearts.