New Adventures

I stare into the backseat of my car, curious as to how my dog, Oscar, is going to respond to this new adventure! In nearly 10 years, although a rescue, Oscar has demonstrated zero fear in response to anything. I sit straight up in my bed alarmed on the Fourth of July. The sounds of fireworks late into the night send me straight into full-pledged panic. The only thing louder than the fireworks on this holiday is the sound of Oscar snoring content and cozy in my bed. Thunder does not bother him. When tornado sirens go off, I hold him in the hallway with tears falling down my cheeks while he nestles clumsily in my arms enjoying all the extra snuggles. So now as I put my car into neutral, I worry that what can only be described as a disco car wash will negatively impact his otherwise calm demeanor.

I get nervous, but Oscar rests soundly through the entire experience. The flashing colorful lights do not excite him. He does not even notice the loud noises. Except for a large yawn that hints of frustration that his nap was minimally disrupted he does not move at all. I envy his position of security. It is not like he does not know the world can be mean; he was abandoned when he was just a puppy. So why is it now that he can rest totally secure while chaos ensues around him? Easy, he has learned to trust me. He knows that I will keep him safe! He has no reason to worry. It occurs to me in this moment, what if I could trust God in His magnificence the way Oscar trusts me in my feebleness?

We look at the world and we see things we have never expected to see. We look at our careers and we become vastly aware of the insecurity of our positions. We look at our culture and we find that we are at war within our own communities. We look at our families and our lives, we see our futures and our pasts, and we are rendered terrified. Sure, we have been through a lot. Most of our fears are rooted strongly in our experiences. We fear financial insecurity because we have been without. We fear abandonment because we have felt rejection. Fear is a learned response and, rational or not, fear is in opposition to what God desires from us.

Our fears focus our attention inward toward ourselves and our own inability and ineffectiveness to protect ourselves and control our destinies. Control is a myth! So long as we are trusting in our own strength, we are failing to acknowledge the sufficiency of Christ and we are tormented with failure. Bad things will happen, “…in the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV).

Our fear is no longer justified because as Christians we know that this world and the damage it causes is temporary. We should trust like Oscar. The tornado is not any less threatening because he refuses to fear it, nor is it any more threatening because I give all my energy to it. We cannot control the storm. We can control our response to it. We can take steps to protect ourselves – study scripture, pray, and strive to live obedient lives. But when we have done all that we can do, we must stand securely in God’s provisions and TRUST that He is working in every new adventure.

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