A lizard. In the house. On the bed.
I was housesitting for some friends when I was younger. I must not be all that good at housesitting, because there he was. A creepy-looking, scaly invader. How could I let it happen?
I confess, my initial response was sheer panic. Then for a split second, I found myself thinking about how to save 15% or more on car insurance. But then back to panic.
Personal statement of fact regarding how we (I) group living creatures: herd of cows, school of fish, pack of wolves, psychotic episode of lizards. I’ll exercise some journalistic self-control here, but please understand that when I tell you the thing was in the house, the all caps is implied.
I also hope you didn’t miss the part where I said he was on the bed. On the BED. Okay yes, journalistic integrity, out the window. Unlike the lizard. He was indeed not out the window. He was on the BED. I went to find something large enough to use to shoo him out the nearest lizard-sized opening. When I got back he was gone. And then so was I. Just kidding. I stayed. But I stayed carrying a bazooka. No, still kidding. It was a baseball bat.
I’ll tell you right now, though, I was never—no, never—getting in that bed. Restless Lizard Syndrome. That’s a thing.
By the way, when there’s a lizard in the house and sleeping is not an option, I highly recommend a bag of Chips Ahoy. And please understand that I do mean the entire bag of Chips Ahoy.
I know what some of you are thinking. God’s creatures and all that. I even agree. Except it’s more challenging to remind myself to agree when I’ve seen a leviathan. On the BED.
Still, in the house, on the bed, at work or church or at the doctor’s office—wherever and whenever there’s a surprise challenge—I want to remind myself to agree with the truth of God. When we remember who He is, we’re readier for any and every challenge, big or small, scaly or unscaly. Through His working in us, we’re able to respond in faith and courage.
In Psalm 55, David is in distress. In verse 2 he pleads with God, “Pay attention to me and answer me. I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint,” (CSB). Restless Lizard Syndrome to the max. “My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me. Fear and trembling grip me; horror has overwhelmed me,” (vv. 4-5)
But David ends the chapter testifying, “But I will trust in you,” (vs. 23) and in the verse right before it, he charges us: “Cast your buarden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.”
Keeping our eyes on Him and our sites on eternity changes how we see challenges. Panic may be the first response. Our bodies and psyches are rather built that way. But we don’t have to live in panic. After allowing ourselves a knee-jerk, we can head straight for His comfort. The God who indwells us is in control, loves us deeply, and holds our future in His hands. He will sustain us. He has a plan for us and it won’t be thwarted.
When God spoke of the intimidating leviathan (Job 41), Job responded, “I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2 CSB).
Our Creator is infinitely bigger and mightier than any challenge. He’s got this. He’s got you.
His sustaining comfort. Even understated, it really is all that and a bag of cookies.