Three things you need to know:
- We have a dog who sheds constantly.
- We vacuum endlessly.
- Our dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner.
Most days I will wait to vacuum until our dog Hazel is outdoors.
Otherwise, as soon as she hears the door to the hall closet open, she
assumes her position under the dining room table.
There are other places she could go.
Although stairs are a bit of a challenge for her these days,
she does have the option to move farther away from the object of her
fear but she does not.
We have attempted to lead her by the collar to safer rooms but
she will not budge.
The other day, a friend stopped by and I didn’t hear the door bell or
the knocking because I was (can you guess?) vacuuming.
Hazel barked from her huddled up position under the table and this
was the only reason I happened to look through the arched
glass of our front door.
Once I opened the door and welcomed our visitor inside,
I apologized for not hearing him sooner.
I pointed to Hazel, our indoor doorbell
and then laughed as I realized she was
not going to leave her spot to greet him.
I explained Hazel’s fear of the vacuum and was
positive despite her tail was wagging, she wouldn’t come
to inspect him as the vacuum was still in plain sight.
We laughed and to my surprise, Hazel slowly cowered
her way the length of the table, keeping her eyes on that
tall black thing which makes all that noise.
Suddenly, the tablecloth made a tent over her head
and she took her eyes off the vacuum and looked up at
She trotted over and gave her customary licks, sniffs
and best wagging performance.
It is hard to take our eyes off of fear isn’t it?
It is always lurking behind a closed-door waiting
to pounce upon its intended victims.
Often we rehearse our fears or at least we have
a great deal of practice bowing down to them.
Hazel hasn’t known another way to conquer her
fears other than to hide under the nearest solid
My fears have become so familiar, I have been lulled into
believing I will always exhibit
the same response whenever
released from the confines of the dark closeted
places of my mind.
In my estimation the fears expand
exponentially with each encounter.
How does one conquer fear?
One way is making the decision that
being free is better than being a captive.
This sounds quite simplistic, I know.
Hazel decided to risk being in the presence of
fear for the sake of doing what she loves to
do, namely greeting.
It has taken Hazel nearly 13 years to stare
down her fear.
Several years ago, I was asked to speak about being
Public speaking has never been my sweet spot.
A quick answer was required and I fretted.
I was walking to our van at the time and I “heard”
God ask me,
“What are you so afraid of?”
“I just hate getting so nervous.”
God asked me.
“Can you risk feeling nervous for 5 minutes for me?”
When it was put this way,
I was undone.
I realized that in most cases, not all for sure,
fear can last for such a short time,
when we face it and then remove our eyes
from fear’s grip, we can walk in freedom.
I did speak and I did get nervous.
Surprisingly I also had fun.
Fear and faith stride along one another.
We don’t have to let fear drag us by
the collar or make us assume a crouched position
under the closest table.
We can shift our gaze and
allow God to make a tent over
He longs to greet us in the midst
of our fears.
I know you have heard or read this before but in
case you haven’t or you need to be reminded,
“Do not fear or be afraid” is quoted in the Bible
Fear is a real thing and God is fully aware.
There is enough of God to get you through
fear, even during leap years 🙂
Take the risk to trust him in the midst of fear.