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My Hiding Place

dogMy Jack Russell Terrier is a unique dog. I know most people think their dog is special, but mine really is special. Buddy watches television. And he is especially interested in any show or commercial that features an animal. It’s not unusual to find us sitting on the couch quietly enjoying a movie on a Saturday night. All of a sudden an animal that Buddy finds very disturbing will appear in a scene. Buddy immediately bounds off of the couch and stands on his hind legs barking and growling at the animal until the commercial ends or the animal disappears. He looks behind and beside the television to confirm that the animal is not hiding from him. Only after he confirms the animal is no longer “in the room” will he return to his resting place on the couch.

Here’s the thing – Buddy is convinced that the animal poses a real threat to himself, his territory, and his master. In his mind, this perceived threat requires his response. Despite how real this threat seems to him, the truth is that he is completely safe on the sofa – usually hidden under a blanket – next to his master.

Recently the Lord revealed to me how I have a similar reaction to perceived threats in my own life. Let me share with you what I experienced and what I learned.

Despite understanding who I am in Christ, I do not like criticism or accusations. I don’t think I’m unique in this regard, as I don’t know anyone who particularly enjoys this aspect of life. A few months ago, someone lashed out with accusations about me that caught me off guard. My initial response was to protect myself and fight back against this perceived threat, but thankfully, I kept quiet and engaged in a silent conversation with the Lord about how to respond. I thanked the person for their feedback and closed the conversation realizing that there was little I could do to change this person’s opinion. Keep in mind, the accusations stung, but I sensed God’s peace and comfort in the midst of the exchange.

After the call ended, I sat down to digest the conversation with the Lord over a cup of coffee. I expressed to him my desire to fight back and protect myself against the accusations. Immediately God took me to Colossians 3 where I was reminded that my life is hidden in Christ with God. I am safe. I am loved. I am accepted. I am protected. There’s no need for me to protect myself. Just as Christ surrendered his right to protect himself on his journey to the cross, I too have the opportunity to surrender this right. This is not easy, but Christ in me empowers me to surrender this right.

So what did I do with the accusation? I verbalized it to the Lord and asked him to show me if there was any truth to the statement. I was reminded of the scripture where God tells us about how he disciplines and corrects those he loves. I sensed God affirming me and telling me that he would let me know if there was something specific that he desired to change in me. God reminded me of Buddy standing in front of the t.v. needlessly defending himself against a perceived yet empty threat.

Recently I heard a teacher mention how Satan accuses in generalities, but that God corrects specifically with love. He does not accuse us with vague threats but rather transforms us with very specific, loving correction. I’m learning not to bark at perceived threats but take them to my master and allow him to both protect my heart and transform my life. I encourage you to do the same.

p.s. As I was finishing this article, a Bridgestone tire commercial came on showing a beaver chewing on a tree. Buddy is on his hind legs in front of the t.v. barking with all fury. I wonder if he will ever learn.

Donna Downs

About the Author

Donna started working with the Lifetime board and staff in the fall of 2010 as they were redefining the mission and vision for the ministry. In May 2011, Donna assumed a permanent role and joined the Lifetime team as Executive Director. In this role, Donna provides leadership and direction for the team as they execute the vision that God has given for Lifetime.