October was one of my favorite months, growing up, because they showed one scary movie after the other on Friday nights. My friends and I snuggled down in front of the TV with a big bowl of popcorn and a comforter. We used the comforter to make a tent, ready to throw over our heads when things got too scary to watch. I loved the way delicious goose bumps ran up and down my arms when the Creature from the Black Lagoon rose up out of the water, sea weed dripping from his limbs. And the way my hair stood up at the back of my neck when Count Dracula crept silently up on his unsuspecting victim. Safe within my circle of friends and the blue TV screen light, it was such fun being scared!
But, as I grew, being scared wasn’t so much fun any more. The things that go bump in the night became seriously sinister. And, no longer did they disappear at the flip of a switch, or the turn of a dial. Things like friends going off to war, bills piling up, broken relationships, raising kids, a sick parent and feeling old can give you nightmares to rival the scariest movie! The reality is that real-life monsters lurk in the shadows, waiting for the chance to make you shriek.
Jesus knew how scary this world can be. He knew that the powers of darkness would try to scare us away – try to make us run, even from God. And, so, God sent us the Holy Spirit, The Comforter, to live with us, to calm our hearts, to relieve our fear, and to wrap us up in protective wings, soft as a dove’s. So, when fear attacks and you feel the scream bubbling up in your throat, pull the comforter of God’s tent over your head and take refuge under the shelter of his wings. Rest in God’s presence until all calm has been restored, and the things that go bump in the night will be silenced!
May all the goose bumps you get this Halloween be the ones that come when you are brushed by the wings of God!
Blessings, Pastor Barb <><
Let me abide in your tent forever; find refuge under the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:4