how’s that for sensationalism? it is a true statement as of today, but it is not the whole truth. The whole truth is that the dead body I discovered quite by accident this morning – is that of a mouse. I immediately exited the basement and have not returned as of this writing. I am filled with fear, paralyzed by an irrational reaction to my unexpected grim discovery. After all, the mouse is dead. It poses no viable threat to me. But I can’t bring myself to return to the basement. My basement now contains a corpse. And I am not ready to face that reality yet.
In the original, animated Cinderella, the mice were so cute, so adorable even – they sang and they danced and they helped her create a beautiful dress to wear to the ball. Those mice were not scary at all. Even so, I cannot bring myself to return to the basement. I’ll just have to do without whatever I might need that I keep down there.
At present, my fear is greater than my need. We will see. Time will tell. Matthew 10:28 says, “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.” Yes, I think my fear is misplaced. I’m afraid of something that has no power to harm me, while I need to be paying attention to what or to who does have the potential to hurt me, maybe even fatally.
I find a warning in 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 tells me to, ” . . . be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Wow! I have bigger problems than a dead mouse body in my basement. I think that is pretty clear. I have a much more sinister enemy who wants to devour me, to destroy me. But I also have an infinitely powerful, infinitely compassionate protector and deliverer.
“But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” (Psalm 3:3)
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
“He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.” (Psalm 18:30b)
My Heavenly Father is my protector, my shield from the very real forces of evil that Ephesians 6:12 warns me about. Despite how scary things can be at times for me, causing me to be afraid, I have this assurance – the same assurance Jesus gave to His disciples when He said to them –
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
So even when I am surrounded by the troubles and the trials that come into my life, I can take heart as God’s word says, or take courage as another translation says, because my Heavenly Father is my shield. He holds me securely and promises me that nothing will separate me from Him. I don’t need to be afraid – of anything – even dead mice.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37)
That’s me – more than a conqueror – because He not only watches over me, He is with me.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
I don’t need to be afraid – I am not alone – my Creator is holding my hand – He is with me wherever I go – ” . . . I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20)
even to a basement with a dead mouse body . . .
sincerely, Grace Day