It was a day of drenching rain. Umbrellas were a necessity. I entered my front door holding my collapsed umbrella, then popped it open with the idea to set it on the floor to dry. How could I have guessed that at the precise moment I pressed the button on the handle of my umbrella, causing it to spring open with a flourish, that Jack would be rounding the corner, meeting it face on! My poor dog! He moved so fast that I only saw a black flash turn and disappear.
I also moved as fast as I could to get to Jack to comfort him, to assure him that all was well. However, where was he? I stood in the doorway to the living room, eyes darting back and forth to find him. It was like he had vanished into thin air; but wait, what did I see? One brown eye and a black ear peeking out from behind the curtain.
“Hey, Jack. It’s okay. It’s okay, Jack.” I went to him, calling out in attempt to soothe him. It didn’t work. He was trembling and staring without blinking at the entrance to the hallway. I could tell that he knew the big yellow monster could appear at any moment to gobble us all up! My words of constant assurance did nothing to alleviate his panic.
I then had another bright idea! I would bring the umbrella to Jack and let him see it was harmless. Yes, that would work! No, it didn’t. It pushed Jack further into the folds of the curtain, trembling from head to tail. I didn’t know what to do but wait. I sat in a chair nearby, every now and again calling out, reminding Jack that I was still there.
Many of you reading this know what I’m going to say, don’t you. You and I also become frightened at things that may or may not harm us. We also run in some attempt to hide from the thing causing distress. We fear the unknown, the things that make no sense to us. We tell ourselves that if we stay behind the curtain of our fears long enough, the monster of the unknown will go away and leave us alone. A good plan if life were really like that; situations disappearing simply through avoidance.
As I was calling out to Jack with the desire to comfort him, I said a prayer of thanks to my heavenly Father for never leaving me when life’s unwanted situations scare me, too. We all know what it’s like to be afraid when our jobs are threatened, when a loving relationship breaks apart, when we are falsely accused, when our once robust health is attacked by disease, when bank accounts dwindle into meager amounts.
It’s a frightening world out there, but hiding behind some curtain of safety is only a temporary action we can take. Hiding may or may not help — for awhile. The only certain help that will bring peace no matter the stress, that will instill courage throughout any ordeal, that will fill us with confidence to take a step into the unknown, that will put a smile on our face because of joy in our hearts — is the One called Jesus. He is always there — omnipresent — meaning it’s impossible for Him to leave us. He is omniscient meaning He knows all. He knows what troubles us and He loves to bring us through to safety.
When the umbrellas of the unknown and the uncertainties of life startle us, what comfort to know the One who says, “…Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20