Our daughters were at that awkward age—too old for a babysitter but not quite old enough to be alone for a lengthy time. We figured they could manage themselves during a Dad/Mom date night and shared guidelines on how to handle some of the common issues they may encounter. We missed a big one, though. How to handle bugs if Dad is not available for disposal did not come up in our date night briefing.
In our area summer months bring out the jumpy crickets, also called camelback crickets, and one of those rascals on occasion finds an entrance to our home. The normal procedure is to sound the alarm by running from the room emitting the loudest possible shriek to summon Dad from his nap or Lowes or wherever he may be. My responsibility is to outsmart and terminate the critter. A camelback cricket is fast and can jump several feet in random directions, including toward the human with the rolled up National Geographic preparing to swat him. Bagging a jumpy cricket is a challenge.
While Mom and Dad were away enjoying our date one of those intruders appeared in the kitchen. With no parental units on site the bug hunt fell to the girls. If only a hidden camera could have captured the next ten minutes in the Nichols household as sisters covered each other’s backs in defense of the homeland!
The battle must have been fierce judging by the upended chairs, expended magazines littering the floor, and tennis balls scattered under the furniture. The critter had been forced to retreat into the laundry room. The door was shut and every crack of daylight was sealed with masking tape, two or three rolls at least. A large and colorful sign hung on the door warning us that a deadly jumping cricket was trapped on the other side. A barricade of assorted household goods blocked the door, presumably to prevent the enemy from turning the knob, breaking the tape, and rekindling hostilities. And the girls? Snug in their beds sound asleep…with the lights on. They were the victors in the epic fight for the sanctity of our home.
Frightening and upsetting circumstances are easier to navigate when someone has our back. Just knowing another person is beside us can elevate our courage. Sometimes. The comfort in numbers idea does not always work, though. Reference the disciples of Jesus boating on the Sea of Galilee. During an attempted night crossing heavy wind drove them to the center of the lake where they struggled to avoid capsizing and labored to recover their course. (See Mark 6:45-52)
Jesus was alone on a mountain praying, but Mark 6:48 tells us Jesus saw His disciples. He knew their predicament. He understood their fear. He was completely aware of the circumstances, and He never abandoned them. The same verse tells us “He came to them, walking on the sea.” The wind and waves didn’t bother Jesus. He offered words of comfort, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.”
Waves crashing into our lives make us forget that Jesus knows and understands. Our circumstances do not slip by His watchful gaze.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB
He is interceding for us all the time.
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25 NASB (See also Romans 8:34)
Take courage. Whatever you’re facing, Jesus has your back.