One summer day, when I was around 8 years old, I was playing in my backyard on my jungle gym, contemplating how to dismount off that thing like Nadia Comaneci to score a perfect 10. I was having fun in my imaginary world, playing late into the afternoon, safe in my own yard.
Or so I thought.
I hear a low growl. I freeze. Too late. Something lunges at me and bites me on my leg. Lucky for me my neighbor’s dog (named Monarch, no less as if he’s some pretty sweet butterfly who only lightly brushes your cheek as he floats by) runs off and doesn’t stick around to do more damage. I look down and blood is now running down my leg, ruining my one pair of tennis shoes.
I was hurt and scared. I hadn’t done anything wrong – I didn’t taunt the dog, I didn’t go in my neighbor’s yard or tape a piece of red meat to my calf. He attacked me for seemingly no reason at all except to get his aggression out on a lesser-equipped victim.
Isn’t that how satan works? One minute you are happy-go-lucky in your life, having a great time minding your own beeswax when out of nowhere the enemy shows up, snaps at you, sometimes drawing blood but always inflicting pain.
It is now getting dark. I knew my mother wasn’t home at the time but my dad was. I remember making my way to the front yard, hiding in some bushes because I was scared to go inside my house. Scared I would be in trouble for ruining my shoes even though this wasn’t my fault. So I sat there. Alone, crying, bleeding, scared.
The front door opens up and my father is looking for me, calling for me. It was dark by now and I should have been home, safe inside the walls that protect me. Even though I was scared I knew I couldn’t stay in the driveway forever, so I hobble on up to my dad, ready to take my punishment.
But instead of punishing me he did what any loving father would do. He scooped me up, took me inside and plopped me on the bathroom counter. He cleaned my wound and bandaged it up. He dried my tears and hugged me tight. And he promised he would take care of my attacker.
Your heavenly father longs to take care of you in the very same way. When we sin or when someone wrongs us we can try to hide in the bushes, afraid of what Jesus will say or do. We don’t want to get into trouble. We think we can heal our wounds, our pains, our emotions all by ourselves with no help.
But Jesus searches for us when we are wounded and hurt. He picks us up, cleans up our wounds and but bandages on them. He listens as we tell Him what happened, how we messed up or how someone hurt us. Jesus forgives us when we have done something wrong and comforts us as he hugs us tight in His strong arms, promising to take care of us.
Maybe you have a wonderful earthly father like mine. Maybe yours isn’t so great or yours has passed on from this earth. No matter what kind of earthly father you have, you need to know you have a heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally. He is your healer, your comforter, your provider if you will only seek Him out. Jesus is there, waiting at the door as the night closes in. Run to Him and let Him take care of you when you are wounded and bleeding believing He has already defeated the ultimate beast – satan.
And BTW, my daddy took care of that dog. He called the police who went to my neighbor’s house and located Monarch the killer dog. I won’t say what happened next, but I’ll just say I never saw that beast again…
Have a blessed Tuesday!