I took our not-so-small, black Chihuahua for a long walk recently. About 3 pounds overweight, Harley needs all the exercise I’m willing to give him. He does well at all the dog walking basics. He stays right at my side, keeps the pace I set and rarely stops to sniff at a fireplug or lamp post.
But this particular day something spooked him. About two blocks into our walk, Harley not only came to a screeching halt, he dug his heels in (or whatever dogs have) and refused to budge. Looking ahead I spotted the object of his fear – a kid-sized, pink scooter in the middle of the sidewalk. I tried to encourage him with soothing comments, but his rump remained on the concrete. Then I combined pulling on the leash with some not-so-soothing comments. But Harley still wouldn’t move. I ended up carrying him around the scooter while he climbed me like a tree.
Harley’s fear of pint-sized power toys seems completely irrational – particularly considering the fact he has absolutely no fear of our eighty-five pound yellow lab. Boone could crush Harley with one miss-step or send him flying across the grass with a swipe of a skillet-sized paw. Yet, Harley acts like “king of the yard.” He lunges, snaps, and barks at a powerful animal ten times his size, but won’t walk at my side past a child’s toy abandoned on the sidewalk.
I thought this was ridiculous until God showed me how I do the very same thing. Early in His ministry, Jesus prepared His disciples to go from town to town and preach about the Kingdom of Heaven. He warned them they would experience trouble. Some people would persecute them because of their message. Yet, Jesus emphasized the truth that these persecutors didn’t have any real power over them. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).”
I often balk at pink scooters. I fail to talk about Jesus because I am afraid what people will think. I squander the peace of Christ while I worry about the economy, our retirement, and the security of our nation. I disobey the holy, all-powerful God and reject His blessings, but tremble before some temporary, earthly circumstance. What’s wrong with me? My God deserves my fear. Pink scooters do not.
The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.