Have you every been fearful to the point where your legs turn rubbery? Where the fight or flight reflex and the adrenaline rush is more intense than 8 shots of espresso?
It all started out wonderfully as we were excited to spend a few days away from the retreat center. It was peaceful and cozy bed and breakfast backing up to a mountain with stunning views. Patty’s dad and new wife Dianne accompanied a high school team from Michigan and stayed a bit longer to help out and then blessed us with a few days of rest at this idyllic place.
As Patty unpacked I settled into a comfy chair enjoying some shalom when we both were jolted by a blow horn and screams. We ran onto the porch as a lady was yelling to the neighbors “I got the gun!” We first thought maybe it was a break in but then we heard, “baboon!” Another man ran out of his house and started throwing rocks at the large male baboon who quickly darted our way jumping over the fence into the side yard. I told Patty to shut all the doors and windows as I ventured down the stairs to check if the door to the kitchen was shut, apparently is was not as crashing and crunching sounds emerged.
My heart started racing as I realized the baboon was in the house and not a staff person was present. I quickly found a fire poker as my weapon and regretfully descended the steps. As I turned the corner the yellow tooth baboon was up on the table devouring a basketful of raw eggs. I wielded my poker like a sword hoping that might scare the creature away but as the yoke splashed out of his mouth with each bite I could tell he wasn’t impressed. As his eyes locked with mine a chill went up my spine as I picked up a chair to shield off a charge and I started to yell. I had no idea what I was yelling until Patty told me later it was, “Help, help a baboon’s in the kitchen!”
Maybe he was full or maybe it was my high pitched screaming that scared the hairy creature off the counter and scampering out the door. Just then Patty’s dad and the staff came in hearing all the commotion. When the staff saw the poker in my hand they smiled at me said something in their own language and started to laugh. I can only imagine what was reported back to their family and friends that night.
The next morning I was reading in my devotions from Isaiah 8:11-14:
“The LORD has said to me in the strongest terms: ‘Do not think like everyone else does. Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe…”
As I meditated on this powerful text I thought about my baboon experience. How my legs got weak and as a last resort I cried out for help in fear. I sensed the LORD say to me, “that’s one of the best prayers you can pray Tim. When you are overwhelmed by the fears of the world, yell or scream out to Me for help-and I will be there. I’m bigger than the biggest spiritual baboons you face and because of the cross nothing can overcome My love for you. Don’t try to fight on your own, cry out to Me for help!”
Do you have a “spiritual baboon” causing you fear? It is okay to yell or scream “help” to the only One you are to fear, the only One big enough to overcome the spiritual battle you are facing right now. He make a promise to be with you, to overcome your fear and keep you safe in His arms of love.