God…is the blessed controller of all things. 1 Timothy 6:15 (Phillips)
When our children were young, we often went camping on a friend’s 180 acres in the backwoods of Idaho. Their daughter Susan and our eldest daughter were best friends. We all loved going up to “The Property,” as it was called. It was our big adventure in the wild.
We hauled the pickup camper up the winding Greer Grade as it snaked along the steep canyon wall. The kids enjoyed a mile-high view from the cab-over window as I grimly clutched the dashboard in the cab.
When we reached The Property, everyone poured out of the pickup and scattered to explore the woods by foot or on three-wheelers. The men walked the perimeter of the woods engaged in serious talk about trees. Susan’s mom and I sat and caught up on family news, soaking up the rare peace and quiet.
One day as we sat and chatted, our tranquility was shattered by the sight of Susan in a dead run up the dirt road toward us. She was hot, flushed, and in total terror of some dark force in pursuit. We stood uneasily, unsure whether to run toward her or with her.
At that moment, her predators emerged from the forest—a herd of lost cows from the neighbor’s pasture. They trotted clumsily along the dusty road, unaware of their upgrade to monster status.
They weren’t chasing Susan at all. She was simply running in front of them. When she did finally veer off the road, the cows passed us by and continued down the road in an aimless clump.
Being the faithful friends we are, our family has never let Susan live down the day she was “chased” by killer cows. I’ll never forget the mental image I have of her emerging from the woods in a dead run, terror frozen on her face: For one breathless moment, it seems as if something horrible beyond description is about to overtake her; the next, the cows lurch along behind her in the confused lostness only bovines can adequately portray.
I’m reminded of this picture when my life is hounded by a nameless terror. As in Susan’s case, the fear is usually unfounded, and things are rarely as bad as they seem.
God uses these times to “drive” me in the direction He wants me to go. In fact, the analogy of Susan and the cows first occurred to me as I contemplated a hard decision we had to make. Caught in a rush of frightening events, we faced some tough choices. As I prayed for answers, only one came to me.
Run in the direction you’re driven.
Knowing human nature as He does, God often has to effectively wipe out every other course of escape in order to get us moving. If necessary, He will use our fears to herd us toward His perfect will for us. He knows, of course, we’re actually safe. In fact, our safety is His goal.
What is the best course of action when you’re confronted by frightening circumstances?
Trust God and run for your life in the direction you’re driven.
Join the conversation by adding your comments below.
How do you handle the down times?
by Pam Thorson
Pam was born at the Millington Naval Base outside of Memphis, Tennessee, the first child of a Wisconsin navy seaman and a Southern belle. Her early life was marked by many moves around the country as her father pursued a career in broadcasting. After traveling throughout the deep South and the Pacific Northwest, the family finally settled on the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) reservation in Idaho. Pam met her wonderful husband during college, set her roots down deep along the banks of the Clearwater River, and happily began a home and family. Pam and Aaron educated all five of their children at home. They began homeschooling in 1982 and graduated their youngest daughter in 2006. Pam and Aaron have been married forty-one years. They have five grown children, two sets of precious in-laws, and two beautiful granddaughters. Pam has long loved to write. She began writing for the local college newspaper and homeschooling group. Later she authored many devotionals for her church and an article for Evangel. In 2008 she wrote Song in the Night, the true account of her son’s injury in Canada, their fight to keep the doctors from pulling the plug, and the subsequent journey back home. Her second book is due for release by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in early 2014. In 2000, Pam became certified as a nurses’ aide to care for their injured son. She and her family have operated a certified family home licensed by the state of Idaho since 2000. In 2011, she completed the practical nurse program at Walla Walla Community College and earned her license as an LPN. Her conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1975 set her on a journey with her Savior spanning nearly four decades. Her love for and devotion to life has come from this association with her Creator. Pam adores her husband, her family, and friends. She enjoys her beautiful little log home, good coffee, the sound of the river at night, and just about any kind of Christian music.