Shards of Shiver
“Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you!”
I woke up last night from a horrible dream. It was the kind that you wake up from and still have the creepy shivers running up and down your spine. Though I am not one that believes in ghosts I do know that demonic things do try and put fear in your heart. As I caught my breath and became fully awake, I was reminded that the doors we open in life hold the answer to peace or fear.
It all begins with opening a door.
Earlier that evening a good friend asked what fears we had as children. He opened a door to discuss things that have crippled and robbed us of our peace. I shared about how I was always afraid of letting my toes go under the couch. I was afraid that something would nibble on my toes. However, there was another door that had haunted me but it was hard to put a name to. It was hard to really put it into words. If you will bear with me I will attempt to open that door so you can learn from someone else’s struggle.
This fear has haunted me for almost twenty years.
I am naturally very impatient. I want things to get things done and not waste time. It is a good thing to being driven but when it becomes obsessive then we have problems. When it comes to waiting on God’s timing it can be a real issue.
I had a hard time throughout my life waiting on people, places and things. That attitude pushed people and opportunities away. My rush made for sloppy work and often left a trail for someone else to clean up. Yes, I even tried to help God out and get things done in my way.
Impatience opens the doors to shortcuts. Those shortcuts aren’t always thought out and being impulsive becomes natural too. I didn’t always think things out and quite often got myself into trouble. I didn’t say no, even to good things. I was stretching myself thinner and thinner The very act of being more effective by getting things done my way, worked the complete opposite.
I had opened doors for the enemy to take me down. It came to a head, during the winter of 1993. I woke up with an oppressive fear that I was running out of time. I know it was a door brought on by exhaustion. That state made my heart beat erratically.
I was tormented by the fact that all the efforts I had done were pointless. I literally heard accusing voices telling me I was a phony as a good Christian. I was all show and no real substance. In my distress and anxiety I saw the fires of hell reaching up to lick my toes.
Needless to say that freaked me out! I harbored that fear until the fall of 2005. It had allowed fear ,through the door of impatience, to dig its roots into my heart and mind. I had no way of removing it. I just covered those exposed roots with more topsoil. On the outside I had learned how to manage that hidden pain. Underneath the roots began to grab hold. They would not let go easily.
However, God used people, places, and things to guide me back to a better door. I reached the end of impatience and myself. The Lord knew when it was time and when I was ready to listen. Instead of trying to make my own way I learned to surrender my timing, my will, and my way. I opened a door to letting the Lord have His will with me.
I was free that night but there were still seeds of fear left behind. Over the years the Lord has slowed me down enough to hunt down those hidden thorns. Yet, I have never gone through that first experience again. I prayed I never would have to.
That’s been twenty years ago. I forgot, but obviously God did not.
The thing I dreaded, happened. I faced the same fear as it came knocking at my door this past week. This time however, instead of fear digging its roots in, something else wonderful happened. I did experience those creepy tendrils trying to worm in but something stopped it. Before, I had an empty heart filled with only me. This time, it had a resident who actually knew how to evict potential home invaders. Jesus pushed out that crippling fear from the inside out. I think he also took out the last of those seeds that had sunk deep inside my heart.
I thought about why this happened and remembered my brother’s car accident many years ago. He crashed and his head went through the windshield. Though the doctors were able to get most of the shards of glass, there were still pieces imbedded in his head. Over time he would see pieces work their way to the surface. The healing was taking place from the inside and when the time was right those foreign objects were expelled outside.
This last experience I felt were the last shards of fear that had dug it’s way into my life. That night I felt like the last of the roots and thorns were torn free. I have had some internal issues ever since then and now I feel I am free. I am learning how to not open doors unless I have patiently asked and prayed about it.
I spent the rest of that night closing doors that had been left open. Crazy, but many doors appeared inviting and pleasant things. However, just past the threshold a trap awaits.
Now, we can’t be afraid of doors either. That wasn’t the point of this story. In fact it just knowing what doors to open that make the difference.
You know, I feel like I have taken a chunk of your time today and I won’t consume any more. Let’s pick up next time with what doors to open. I think that is the real answer to overcoming fears that lock us behind doors. Just remember that when you have the Lord, you can recognize what to allow into your life and what to lock out. I need to remind myself daily that some doors, though they look inviting, are never mean to me opened.
“Be brave, stouthearted and courageous. Yes, wait in the Lord and He will help you.”