She was tired. After a long mid-afternoon of eating lunch, playing with pots, climbing in a fireplace, and an unexpected fully-clothed dunk in the tub, Aeralind was having a hard time coping with being awake.
Seemingly oblivious to her needs, her momma whipped out the vacuum cleaner to tidy up the sooty mess left in her living room. Aeralind watched from the stairs as she plugged in the machine and went to work. But the vacuum was big, it was loud, and it was most of all scary. Her tiny face puckered up into fear. Tears threatened. Aeralind wasn’t sure how she would ever get through that moment.
About that time momma, noticed. She turned off the vacuum cleaner and knelt down to the terrified little girl. Aeralind wouldn’t approach momma, she was too close to the scary thing. Couldn’t momma just make the scary vacuum go away? But momma wouldn’t.
Quietly, momma beckoned Aeralind to her lap and showed her that the vacuum could be pet just like a kitty. Aeralind doubted, waited until Bronwyn petted the vacuum cleaner, and then she cautiously approached her mother. Swiftly she tackled her mother in a fierce hug at the point farthest from the loud scary thing. Momma kept petting the loud beast and asking Aeralind to do the same.
Twice she extended her hand to embrace her fear and twice she withdrew it.
Aeralind clung to momma fiercely.
Finally momma took her hand and lifted it toward the now silent terror. Together they petted the vacuum and then quickly withdrew.
Aeralind waited cautiously and then extended her hand to touch it on her own. Not one but twice she touched where momma and Bronwyn had confirmed a safe spot and then she reached and touched the base. Content that the vacuum cleaner meant no harm she moved on to other important matters.
Isn’t that how all my great temptations start? When I’m weary, when I think I’m alone with an unfavorable circumstance that too terrible to bear?
He is there and, though He may not look like he’s paying attention, He’s always ready to drop everything to be available.
But God asks one thing: that we draw near to Him so that he can help.
Sometimes when we draw near, He’ll put the vacuum cleaner away and hold us tight. Sometimes He’ll sit with us while we approach our fear. Sometimes He’ll even guide our hands to embrace that hard thing.
But He is there in that situation…
if we reach for Him.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18