The attacks came without warning, one after another. These last months our family has been reeling from a series of setbacks we never anticipated. Problems we didn’t cause and can’t fix.
Yesterday was so bad I just had to escape from the phone and the stress and the numbness shredding my soul. I bolted down the driveway and glanced around, remembering to check for snakes and the coyotes that had been calling this morning up the dry canyon above our house. Occasionally they wander all the way down to the yard looking for wayward scraps or cats.
Usually I alternate between anger and pity for them. Anger when they kill our animals. Pity when the summer is hot and barren and they comb the hillside in mangy coats looking for food.
Yesterday I envied them.
I wanted to flee up the canyon wall far away from humans and their struggles, to find a way out. I needed escape. I wanted to release the fear and the anger and the helplessness.
Actually, I wanted to howl.
Instead, I walked for a bit and returned to the house. Our family circled the wagons, as is our habit when new challenges threaten one or the other of us. We spent the evening together, drawing strength from each other as we enjoyed a meal and movie.
Today, the wolves are again at war. Today I halt between two opinions. Is disaster on the horizon? Or is God at work in a mysterious and mystical way?
Fear and Faith sit at my door. Both are ravenous. Will I feed one and allow myself to be consumed, or will I feed the one that will send the predator packing? Which one will I give my trust?
So it comes to this. I must choose to turn off the outside voices feeding the beast and give my mind permission to feed my starving soul on the goodness of God. This was surely what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote these words:
…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Dwell on what is good and holy. Frolic in the fruit of the Spirit. Reach for the joy set before you. Trust in a faithful Creator.
If you’re as hungry and dry as I am, pray with me:
Here I am, Lord.
I’m dying on the inside.
My enemy is too strong for me.
Strengthen my faith; teach me how to trust You.
Help me to close my ears to the voice of the predator.
Give me eyes to see Your great power and love.