BOO! It’s that scary time of year with spooky things around every corner! How is it that we so enjoy these spooky times? Whole genres of movies and books make all kinds of big bucks and huge industries are built around the scary, yet we hate the real fear? Maybe we think the make-believe fear will help us better deal with life’s real terrors?
I’ve done a lot of puppet shows over the years, and I think my favorite is built on the Veggie Tales song, “God is Bigger than the Boogie Man.” It’s a great song that recognizes there are things in life that are scary. But when we do encounter real challenges; God is bigger than all that. When we face the fears with the armor of God and in the presence of God, we can make it through any “valley of the Shadow of Death.”
And just like scary movies, we are able to make it through much better when we share the fear with others (who wants to go to a scary movie alone?) Life’s real scary times are also best managed when we face them with a spiritual battle buddy by our side. Whether you’re the parent comforting a scared child, the kid eager to face down fears (even if you need a little help along the way!), the one finding a companion with whom to face life’s haunted moments, or the one terrified by demons of cancer or disease seeking soul solace, God never intended for us to journey these dark paths alone.
This is a perfect time of year to remind our children, our friends, and even to remind ourselves, of the bible memory verse: “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31: 6). The Valley of the Shadow of Death can certainly be more real than any ghosts or goblins we might run across this month, but even more so is the peace and comfort God brings in and through those darkest of valleys.
Good thing we’re in this Body of Christ together, so that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered together wrapped up like a mummy in the arms of Jesus, the Guardian of the Galaxy that is the Holy Ghost will be the Super-hero Friend that helps us put on the full armor of God to protect us as He guides us through every haunted moment we face! So let whatever costume we put on remind us of how each day, God calls us to clothe ourselves in Christ, to take with us wherever we go, the perfect love that casts out all fear.
Getting all dressed up for the season—Rev. Jim