You might forget someone’s name, an appointment, or even where you left your keys- but the time you found a bat in your home, those memories and feelings are still vividly in your mind.
I know, because there was a bat in my bedroom Friday night. And it’s an unpleasant realization you’re sharing a confined space with a scared (and flying) bat at 3AM. The bat’s probably not the only one in the room wrestling with fear, either!
Since bat stories freak people out, let’s move to the bat representing something you fear. A lot. Maybe it’s loss of position or possessions, a fear of failure or pain, or what feels like a lack of love from others. When fear comes swooping in, it has an amazing ability to cripple our thoughts and emotions. Our prayer life becomes very self-focused, and we turn inward to react defensively towards what we face. Perhaps that’s why people claim they don’t have butterflies in their stomach- but bats!
James McDonald said, “God is seldom further from you then when your heart is filled with fear.” True. Yet God didn’t move. Said another way: You are seldom further from God then when your heart is filled with fear. While we have yet to figure out how the bat got into our house, the fears everyone struggles with ride well etched paths in our experiences and failures straight to our heart.
What do you use when fear wells up inside of you?
- Prayer. It’s silly to think back to the number of times I’ve had that V-8 moment, hit my forehead, and realized I hadn’t prayed when struggling with fear. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Humility. Recognizing who He is, who I am not. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7).
- Trust. Believing that God is both sovereign over the universe yet cares deeply about what I’m facing is foreign to the world, but not to the follower of Christ. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
So what should you use when a bat is in your house?
- Cool nerves
- An open window (no screen)
- Faith the bat will find its way out.
……………………….admittedly, my method of extraction was different.
Dave St. John
Station Manager KTIS (Minneapolis/St. Paul)