Rest or Rustle? How To Handle What Scares You

Thankfully, the mother bird saw the rat snake before the rat snake saw her.

She was perched on the edge of the nest she had woven in my hanging basket, a wriggling worm dangling from her beak. Ready to drop it into the open mouth of one of her fledglings, she froze, then quickly hopped into the nest. Her squawking babies quieted as she covered them with her outstretched wings. Hunkering down atop her tiny charges, she blended into the foliage until the slithering serpent passed by.

Those babies may have been newly hatched, but they knew something I sometimes forget—that danger is an invitation to trust. As my friend Nan Jones says, “It’s better to rest than to rustle.” The Psalmist puts it this way:

“I will trust in the shelter of your wings,” (Psalm 61:4).

When danger threatens me or my family, my default setting is to start squawking. I cry. I fret. I call my friends. I wring my hands and wail as if the Philistines were storming the gates. I work myself into an emotional tizzy that would rival a two-year-old’s bedtime meltdown. In the end, I’m left spent and exhausted.

On other days, when my heart is full of God’s Word and I’ve spent time in prayer, I react much differently. Like the baby birds in my geranium, I seek the shadow of my heavenly Father’s protective wings and rest quietly, trusting that he will care for me.

What about you? How do you react when something scary threatens you? When are you more likely to respond with faith instead of fear? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you're reading by email, click HERE to leave a comment at the bottom of the post.

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