Big girl confession.
I am a scaredy-cat.
And I am very afraid of the dark.
Which isn't a good thing when you live on the top of a mountain, with only one neighbor in sight (who only occasionally visits), no streetlights, multiple windows, and minimal window coverings.
I feel like I am on view for every scary creature out there.
And I really don't like driving home in the dark.
The last leg to our house is a steep switchback, a skinny ribbon of a road that requires one to slow to a snail's pace to negotiate it.
At nighttime, this means one lonely set of headlights illuminating shadowy trees and clawing branches, ogre-shaped boulders, darkened ravines where trolls lurk…
And heaven help me if it's windy!
I have always been afraid of the dark.
I think it must be something innate to the human creature. I think we're born with an uneasy wariness of the darkness. After all, we can't see as well, and therefore we're most vulnerable.
However, if something happens to you when you're a child, that fear can really escalate and take hold.
Like it did for me.
I vividly remember one night when we were visiting my grandparents' house. I was very young. Young enough that my mom put me to bed in the other room while they stayed up visiting.
I fell asleep, yes.
But at some point, I awoke – and discovered, to my terror, that someone or some *thing* had a tight grip on my hand!
Now I knew that the Bogeyman lived either in a closet or under a bed. So I knew it was HIM that had hold of me!!
Even though I was scared out of my wits, I still had some wits about me.
So I started reasoning out what to do.
If I yelled for my father, the Bogeyman would pull me quickly under the bed and take me to the unknown void where he takes little children.
If I stayed still and quiet, he'd still end up pulling me quickly under the bed and taking me to the unknown void where he takes little children.
I finally decided that if I yelled for my father, the Bogeyman might be startled just long enough for my dad to arrive and rescue me.
I started screaming…
"Dad, help me, help me!!"
He stormed into the room, and I started sobbing.
Blubbering, I tried to tell him about how the Bogeyman was tightly gripping my hand, and how he was momentarily going to pull me under the bed and take me to the unknown void where he takes little children.
My father started laughing.
Dad was not a cruel man, but I just could NOT figure out what was so funny about being kidnapped.
"Dad, why are you laughing?"
"Look at your hand," he chuckled.
Oh, I was terrified to do that. What horribly gnarled, wart-encrusted, talon-curled, slimy green hand was I going to see?
Finally, I took one peek – only to find my hand firmly in the grasp of my other one.
Well, it seems that one arm had fallen asleep, and dead to the world, it had become the gripping and grasping claw of the *Bogeyman*…
OK, amusing, but this incident only cemented my terror of the dark.
Fortunately, I did not have parents who used the Bogeyman as a threat to ensure good behavior.
But I did have a brother who delighted in jumping out at me from dark doorways, or from behind couches, or out of closets.
My fear of the dark and sudden surprises took root.
I still sorta launch myself into bed from a couple of feet out…
And "The Hub" has been know to accidentally startle me into a terror-stricken shout from time to time.
He always asks me, "Who did you expect?"
Well, the Bogeyman…
Interesting background on the Bogeyman:
"The word bogey is believed to be derived from the Middle English bogge/bugge (hobgoblin). Bogeyman (also, sometimes, incorrectly, spelled bogieman, boogeyman, or boogie man) is a common allusion to a mythical creature in many cultures used by adults or older children to frighten children into good behavior. This monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of an adult or child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave, the bogeyman will get them…In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the devil."
It seems like every culture has some sort of myth or legend about the Bogeyman.
But what I found most interesting is that he can represent Satan.
When you think about it, our fear of the dark probably has its roots in our fear of the devil and his minions. And though the Bogeyman is a fictional character, the enemy of our souls is very real.
And he has a mission – to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10, ESV)
Described as evil, a thief, the father of lies, a murderer, he is scary.
But, I have discovered a couple of things about him.
One, he cannot read my mind.
This means that my thought life is private.
It cannot be invaded physically or spiritually by the enemy.
Yes, just as we can sense the mood of another person and try to influence it, he can be the parrot that sits on my shoulder, squawking his lies and venom into my ear.
Or he can be the slippery serpent that whispers temptations and doubts.
He can attempt to inflame my thoughts, influence my thoughts, encourage my thoughts, twist my thoughts – but he cannot get in there and hear them.
I like that.
For one thing, this means that when I talk with the Lord in my heart, the enemy is NOT privy to the conversation.
He will not hear me pour out my heart, nor listen to me recount my troubles and worries. He will not hear me when I feel angry or disappointed in God. He will never hear my doubts.
Therefore, what tremendous courage I can take in being totally honest with the Lord!
I don't know if any of you remember the comedy series, "Get Smart." If you do, then you'll remember the *cone of silence.* A rather bulky and cumbersome plastic dome that never, ever worked.
But, God surrounds our minds with His protection.
So what we say in our innermost thoughts, and what we feel in our innermost emotions, is safe with Him.
He alone is omniscient, He alone knows the heart.
He alone knows you.
The second thing that I've learned about the enemy is that he cannot read my mind.
I'm not being redundant here.
This is what I mean.
If the devil cannot read my mind – (he cannot) – then he also doesn't hear my words when I try to battle him in my thoughts.
I can say "Get thee behind me, Satan" all I want in my head, and it might serve to shore up my defenses, but there is only one way to be offensive…
Say it out loud.
Yes, say it so he can hear it.
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He used Scripture as His sword.
But He didn't just quote it in his head.
If you look closely at the story in Matthew 4, you'll notice something…
Jesus SPOKE Scripture!
And he ended with this:
"Then Jesus said to him, 'Go away, Satan!'" (Matthew 1:10, AMP)
"The Hub" has a funny story about a guy he used to know at work. This guy was really frustrated with someone, and was telling my husband all the ugly things he said to that person.
"The Hub," finding it hard to believe that this guy got away with all the trash talk, asked him, "You said that?"
The guy kinda smiled and replied, "Yeah…on the inside."
Friends, we cannot afford to fight our enemy just "on the inside."
So if you want to fight well against a most-feared, but not so fearsome, enemy – talk back to him...
After all, he can't read your mind.
Yeah, I'm still afraid of the dark.
I still love flashlights, and night lights in every room.
I still check closets and under the bed from time to time.
But truly, the Bogeyman is just a figment of an overactive imagination, a myth, a legend.
And though our enemy is real, he is also rather insubstantial.
So if you ever find yourself tightly in his grip, take a good, long look at your hands.
Chances are, something's *fallen asleep* and you're only gripped by your own fear.
Your Father is right there.
And there is no one or no thing "under the bed" ready to snatch you away.
You are safe in His hands alone…
the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me
walk in darkness,
but will have
the Light of life.
***REMEMBER to check out DAILY GRATEFUL THOUGHTS here***
(Updated DAILY GRATEFUL WORDS, A WORD FROM THE WORD, A "MESSAGE" FROM GOD, and FOOD FOR THOUGHT can be found on the sidebar. Thank you!)
"O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD." (Psalm 139:1-4, NLT)
"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
(Hebrews 4:16, NLT)
"Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]." (1 Peter 5:7, AMP)
"Then you will walk on your way [of life] securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." (Proverbs 3:23-24, AMP)
"'The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned.'" (Matthew 4:16, NASB)
"'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12, NIV)
"Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4, AMP)
"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:28, ESV)
"'...I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.'" (Matthew 16:18, NLT)
"Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you."
(James 4:7, AMP)
"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes…Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:11, 13, NIV)
"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword..." (Hebrews 4:12, NLT)
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105, AMP)
What is the *Bogeyman* in your life? What are you afraid of?
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