When you follow fear … where does it lead?

For Christmas, my husband got this tent. It was cute watching him set it up in the front yard on Christmas morning. Just like a little boy with a new toy …

But now the tent is here … in the mountains … where my husband slept last night. Doesn’t look nearly as cute to me.

I have to be completely honest. There is a little part of me that freaks out when Will does stuff like this. And I wonder why my husband can’t love golf or computer games. Something safer. And tamer. But no. Will loves hiking. And mountains. And adventures. I think sleeping in a tent on a mountain in the snow sounds really scary. And really cold. A set up for some made for movie drama. ‘Texas man killed and eaten by mountain lion while camping in Colorado.’

Yep, that’s where my mind went yesterday after I saw the tent in the snow. I pulled on my coat to go for a walk around the neighborhood and I wasn’t even a block from home when I imagined Will was being stalked by a mountain lion. In my mind, it was dusk … and he was sitting in his tent when the big cat pounced through the thin orange lining, clawing at his body. There was blood all over the snow. As I walked, I imagined Will trying to fight the cat off alone, on a cold mountain.

I got so caught up in this, I actually cried. One little tear after another streaming down my cheeks. And so I shot up a frantic prayer that if Will was attacked by some mountain creature, he would either get out alive or die quickly ~ and not be in pain.

Then more images set in. First a mountain lion. No, maybe a bear. Then a pack of wolves. All attacking my poor husband. As I pulled my coat sleeves over my frozen fingers, I worried about how Will would escape these terrors. More tears. More prayers.

And then I started getting mad ~ thinking about how impossibly selfish it was for Will to camp in the mountains in the winter with all those ravenous animals waiting to eat him. If he did survive, I thought about how I’d tell him a thing or two about camping in the mountains. About doing stuff that scares me. Dangerous stuff like being away from home and driving in snow and camping in the mountains and making me nervous and unsettled and teary and frightened and, and, and …

Suddenly it occurred to me. I was the one getting eaten up.

By fear. I was being stalked and taken down, eaten alive. Right there on the street where I live.

The bible talks about it …

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The enemy knows just where to grab at my heart. Pouncing in with outrageous ideas and ridiculous scenarios, fear falling like new snow. The enemy knows when I follow fear, it quickly leads to distrust.

Distrust in God. And His provision. And His plan.

I know this: Will’s safety is not dependent on his location. And neither is mine. The real threat is a wandering, vulnerable heart. So instead of following fear, I fight back. With faith. And trust. And love.

… when you follow fear, where does it lead?