Psalm 34:4 “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”
When we were kids, my dad had a dog named “Bo”. Bo was big. Bo was fast. And I didn’t like Bo very much. As soon as I stepped into the house, Bo would come charging towards me and I’d have to take off running. It was always the same thing. I’d run through the kitchen, around to the den, back to the family room, until I saw my dad and I’d jump into his arms. I would be so scared, but every time, he’d be smiling and ask “Why do you run from Bo?”, as if it wasn’t obvious. He’d tell me, “Just stop running. Bo won’t chase you if you don’t run.” That seemed like the dumbest thing ever to me. Could he not see that the moment I stepped foot into the house, Bo would come running towards me?!
One summer afternoon, I walked into the house, prepared to start the cycle of running from Bo. I walked in, and as expected, Bo came charging towards me. I took off running through the kitchen, around to the den, back to the family room and my stomach immediately knotted up... I didn’t see my dad. I started to scream and cry for him, but I didn’t see him. So I lapped back around a second time, and yet again, I still didn’t see him. This was it… This was the moment my 5 year old life would come to an end. I would be ripped to pieces by this big dog, abandoned by my daddy, never to see my family and friends again. At 5 years old, I remember feeling so afraid, hurt, betrayed, and most of all tired. I was tired of running. Then I heard my dad’s voice saying “Just stop running”. So I did. Ready to accept my fate, I decided to listen to my dad and stop running. And you know what happened… Bo stopped too.
You may be dealing with your own “Bo” experience. You want to come into your Father’s house, but the minute you step in, life comes charging towards you. Our Heavenly Father may send things your way that appear to be designed to harm you, so you run. You run, not recognizing that this very thing was designed to protect you. You run, not recognizing that you are simply going in circles. You run, not recognizing that this thing, this call, this opportunity may look scary, but it’s designed to be obedient to its master. You run so long, that you feel as though your Father has abandoned you, and the thing you are running from, you just know will certainly kill you.
But God is calling us to stop running. Pastor Wilson taught us about the importance of being in God’s house and coming together as a church. But with that, the responsibilities of caring for one another, forgiving one another, spending time in God’s word, worshipping together more than just Sunday, paying our tithes, accepting correction from Leaders with love… all of this may seem too big, too scary. So we run. But we, unfortunately, find ourselves running in circles… still in our Father’s house, but running.
I encourage you today to stop running. There is nothing in your life that you’re facing that doesn’t fall under God’s command. You may be in the church, but still feel abandoned, hurt, broken and afraid. I challenge you to stop running from the things that look scary and listen to the voice of your Father. He has not abandoned you. He is still very present in your life. He’s simply waiting for you to come into His house, ready to work, and not run!
Heavenly Father, I admit that sometimes I run from the call you placed on my life. God help me not to run from the responsibilities of being in your House. No matter how scary, no matter how much I don’t understand, help me find strength and courage in your voice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By: Min. April Carter