Monday, June 17, 2013

Bug Busters

I started thinking there must be a huge neon-flashing cockroach on our roof.
A week after Caleb introduced himself through the screen door, Rob and I sat on the sofa eating dinner, watching TV and talking about my fear of an approaching hysterectomy as treatment for endometrial cancer.  
Now, I need to mention that I hadn’t had any significant surgery since I had my tonsils out when I was four. And, while it hardly made up for the killer sore throat I woke up with, I did remember that was some pretty good ice cream they gave me once I stopped crying.
Jump ahead fifty years. Big jump. So now, even though I managed to hang on to my reproductive system until they could remove it laparascopically and robotically—thus speeding up my recovery time—I hadn’t had knock-me-out surgery since that ice cream incident. Nor had I spent the night in a hospital since I delivered each of my two babies.

That was a happier reason for lingering than this visit would give me.
Appetite fading, I began to worry. And right on cue, the doorbell rang. This time Rob got up and opened the front door to a stranger who stood outside in the evening heat.  He’s so much more willing to listen to sales pitches than I am that his dinner got cold. I'd finished watching House Hunters by myself by the time he returned with a smirk on his face.
“It was another bug guy,” he told me, and handed me the calling card of tonight’s angel in disguise.
Blue Sky Pest Control?” I read incredulously.  “Are you kidding?!”
Rob just grinned.
“Look at his name,” he told me.
Nathan. Nathan from Blue Sky Pest Control. God wasn’t even hiding with this one.
I remembered a little more about Nathan than I had about Caleb. Nathan was the prophet and BFF who confronted King David about his murderous/adulterous/just-plain-inappropriate relationship with Bathsheba. 

Wow. It’s a tough job to be friend to a king. Glad I’m just a peasant.
That didn’t seem like enough information, though, so I pulled out my laptop and googled Nathan. Nathan was God’s spokesman to David. He was his friend and counselor, and even saved his life once. His name means Gift of God, but he was best known for being fearless.
Fearless. That’s been the word of the week.
I can’t say that I’ll be best remembered for being fearless.
It’s kind of embarrassing to be a child of God who struggles with fear. For some reason I assume that because I belong to Jesus I’m not supposed to be afraid of anything or anyone. Just in case you’re believing the same lie, let me clear this all up for you. It doesn’t freak Jesus out when I’m afraid. The important thing is that He’s not afraid.
The day before Fearless Nathan showed up offering to squash more bugs in my life, I went through a ring of index cards full of scriptural promises God has been giving me since April’s round of doctor visits began.  I noted recurring words in all of them—eighty promises at that point—and the phrase repeated most often was don’t be afraid.
I heard one time—and checked it out just to make sure—that the instruction God repeats most often in the Bible has nothing to do with money or sex or the nasty nine or dirty dozen. The thing He tells us again and again is this: “Do not be afraid.”
Guess I’m not the only cowardly lion in the pack.
I wish I was more courageous. But if I was, would I depend on God less? Maybe. Who knows. Right now, the only thing I can say for sure is that when fear attacks, I know where to hide - safe in the arms of Jesus. The Guy Who isn’t afraid of cancer or doctors or the future. There isn’t a bug alive who can escape His big feet.
I needed eighty promises because that’s how fear-full I can be. And if I that's not enough, I know He’ll keep those promises coming. He doesn’t mind.
Look how he keeps sending bug guys to our door. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy, pity and mercy and the God Who is the Source of every comfort, consolation and encouragement.  2 Cor. 1:3


  1. This is my favorite "do not be afraid" story, even though the exact words aren't there. (Mark 4)

    35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.

    37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

    38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

    39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

    40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

    41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

    1. I'm so glad you brought up this story, Liz! It's a favorite of mine, as well. I love the way it reads in Luke 8, too, where it says "they were in GREAT DANGER". When Jesus asked them why they were afraid, I drew an arrow in my Bible back up to the preceding verse where it says they were in great danger! God's perspective and power and love and patience are greater than great danger. Amazing.

  2. This post has left me singing, "Be not afraid, I go before you always, come follow Me and I will give you rest" in my head <3

    1. I love knowing it left you singing a song with such beautiful lyrics, Courtney! I'll have to look that song up - I think it's new to me!

  3. Eula, I think sometimes they have to put up a front like they are not afraid of anything. Knowing that Jesus has your back is very comforting. Thanks for your inspirational story.

    1. My pleasure, Adrienne. It's been a journey, that's for sure. I'm so glad I'm not in it alone. :)

  4. Not attempting to be too much of a smart ***, but I bet you could get ice cream in the hospital again.

    I think being afraid is part of being human, especially of the unknown outcome. But since you are a Christian, you already know your final destination. Everything else is just part of the journey.

    1. Wish I'd thought to ask. ;) I'm home recovering now, and I've got some in the freezer, so . . . .

      I think you're right about fear as one of our common denominators. I'm so thankful there's no condemnation when I feel that way. I've been carried through this particular version by the supernatural peace Jesus promised and delivered on. And I've learned about how good He is more than ever before. Amazing.