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 uterine 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 and I finished watching House Hunters before 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 answered.
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 need more promises, I know He’ll keep them 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