His Still, Small Voice

If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
Psalm 91:9-11 (NIV)

Something really weird happened to me recently. I was sure that I had shut our garage door and had even seen it close all the way to the floor. When I walked outside later that night, I chose to go out the front door because the light on the porch would illuminate my path to the mailbox. As I walked past the garage, to my horrified bewilderment, the door was open. That concerned me more than a little. I continually checked the door to make sure it was still closed until I finally went to bed--alone. My husband was out of town for business. As I lay there in the dark, I told myself that I could choose to forfeit a night's sleep (my usual recourse) or I could trust that God was with me in the darkness. I fell asleep without tossing and turning and looking at the clock.

Until...I was awoken out of a sound sleep at four o'clock in the morning to our golden retriever's barking. Now, you have to know Lantzer. She is about the most unthreatening four-legged ball of fur you have ever met. I told my husband that she would probably lick someone to death before she harmed them. She is NOT watch-dog material like the big brute rottweiler down the street. That doggie's got some mean-looking chops! But Lantzer is a lover of people, not a fighter. Lantzer would not stop barking and punctuated the noise with some deep chest growling that I have never heard before. Okay, now I was freaked out! I instantly thought of the garage door and the possibility of it being up, which led to imagine that someone uninvited was in my house.

I thought, "Do I turn on the light?" But then I didn't want whomever might be downstairs to know I was up and where I was. I hugged the wall and felt my way downstairs through the bonus room. I needed to go down another short flight of stairs to get to the kitchen. Lantzer was barking and growling the whole time I was making my way down. Remember, I was walking completely in the dark. Lantzer heard the sound of my footsteps and started growling in earnest, inching her way toward me.

"Lantzer, puppy, what's the matter?" I said softly in the dark.

Instantly, she stopped her barking and almost knocked me down with her wagging tail. After a few licks on my hand, she settled down in her usual spot at the bottom of the stairs and indicated that her noisy tirade was over. She was at peace while my heart was still racing a hundred miles an hour! I looked into the garage. The door was firmly shut. There was no sign of any disturbance as I turned on the light to investigate.

I made my way back to bed and the Holy Spirit started speaking to my heart. You see, I am like Lantzer, spending my hours in the dark, envisioning the worst of scenarios as my reality. I bark and growl because I believe I am alone, having to survive with a false sense of bravado while I am scared to death inside. These sightless eyes are blind to the fact that my Jesus is with me. I can fight against that truth, or I can be still for a moment and hear His still, small voice in the whirlwind and confusion of my circumstances. It is when my soul--not my easily deceived ears-- hears, "I am your salvation," that I can settle back down in the place God has ordained me to be in at this season in life and stop my noisy tirade.

Why do I wait so long?