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The Invited Intruder

Several days ago, I heard a faint knocking, so I answered the door.

Fear stood respectfully at a distance and said, “I received your invitation, so I came immediately.”

I reluctantly responded with, “Well, I suppose I did extend an invitation, but…” I knew better than to invite Fear into my space. He had visited many times before and each time it didn’t end well. It took greater effort to bid him leave. To force him to leave.

I slowly opened the door and Fear’s dark form cast an ominous shadow over my heart. As the darkness began to creep over the threshold, he whispered words sprinkled with elements of truth saying, “I am here to grant you your insatiable desire for knowledge of what is really going on. You have lived in an encouragement bubble for far too many days, and it’s time for you to see and hear the raw reality of the spreading virus, collapsing medical system, and especially the closed borders.”

My heart latched on to the last two words, “closed borders”. As I meditated on that, I allowed an avalanche of “what if’s” to spread its tentacles of terror throughout my emotions that had already been primed by Fear. Each “what if” began to construct invisible iron bars that would serve to imprison me.

“I urge you to be an ambassador of this information,” Fear continued.

I accepted the challenge and immediately texted several friends and family of the gravity of the situation, and as a good Christian, I requested prayer for the country of Portugal. Done. I had spread my knowledge, propagating Fear’s opportunity for more influence. But as I finished that task, I sensed his presence was beginning to grow stronger, increasingly intimidating, and extremely close. Fear doesn’t respect the social distancing rules.

At that moment a friend stopped by, reached through Fear’s formless, shadowy presence, and handed me a gift. I received it though the eye-gate and the familiar words, penned more than 2700 years ago, quickly began to take hold of my heart. I had read and recited them many times before.

Perfect Peace…. Trust in the LORD…. Thoughts fixed on the Rock…

As I took time to meditate on that timeless promise, I immediately turned off the source of fear-spreading knowledge — TV news — and insisted that Fear leave. He tried very hard to linger, resisting, but he finally removed his presence from my heart. He returned several times begging my attention with insistent knocking, but I refused to answer.

Reflective questions:

  • How are you opening the door to Fear and other intruders?

  • What do you need to do to get him to leave?

  • How can you prevent him from returning?

Challenge: Just as someone spoke a faith-building promise to me, how can you do the same for some else?

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