Monsters in My Room

When I was little I was afraid of monsters.   

Don’t laugh.  I’m guessing you were too.  It’s a common fear for children.  In my mind monsters lurked in places I could not see.  In a closet. Under my bed.  Behind my desk.

Soon I would be crying out for my mom who would come into my room and tightly tuck me in to my favorite blanket, affectionately known as “banky”.    Again, remember, I’m a little kid.  When you are 4 naming your blanket is a fairly common practice.

There was something about being wrapped in that blanket that made me feel profoundly secure.  It was like it was a monster-resistant force field.  Impenetrable.

I’m 54 now, and monsters still find a way into my mind in the wee hours.  The are no longer creepy, malformed creatures.  But they can be every bit as frightening.  2020 has been a good year for monsters.  They cause me to wake in the middle of the night and bombard my brain in chaotic sequences.  Tossing restlessly, sleep can be hard to reenter.

You may know some of them:

  • Fear of a virus.  Not just the disease but its effects on our community, lives, and livelihood.
  • Unrest in our country, and a realization that our political structures are struggling to solve serious problems.  How is this going to end?
  • Broken relationships.
  • Struggling children.
  • The stuff of life, work, and finances.

2020 seems like an outlier.  It really isn’t.  Some have estimated that in 3400 years of recorded history, the world has only known 268 years of peace.  It seems like there are monsters everywhere.

David knew scary times.  Scripture records him being pursued by King Saul who wanted to snuff out his life.  David had a run in with an evil man named Doeg the Edomite who was responsible for murdering a large number of priests.  To David it must have felt like the walls were closing in.  And yet is was likely during these times that he penned these words:

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.  One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.  Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Psalm 27:1-6

Let those words sink in.  You may want to reread them. Did you catch this phrase?

“Though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”
The secret to David’s confidence was not monster elimination.  It was the overwhelming manifestation of God’s presence and power in his life. 

It goes further that simply eliminating fear.  God’s presence allows David to work for God’s plan. He is even able to see that his real enemy is not Saul but rather the dark forces of the evil one destroying human lives.  False monsters can prevent us from seeing the real evil forces at work in the world around us.   Fear unchecked by God can cause us to be reactionary - to lash out against people.  Fear can be a dangerous motivator.

With the Lord as his shield, David is able to be a change agent, addressing the problems of his age.

Can we adopt that same attitude and heart?

The next time the monsters of life cause you to toss and turn, remember this:  God is your shield. Spend time with Him.

That’s better than any old “banky”.

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