Chasing Rats


“For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Have you ever noticed how much fear tries to control our lives? It creeps into everything from relationships to being a witness for Christ. Fear keeps people from success in business, and it paralyzes others from carrying on a simple conversation.

Whenever I think of fear, one major event leaps into my mind. It took place when I was 6 years old. Let me explain:

My brother and cousin, who were both three years older than me, decided to use me as the ‘catcher’ to trap a rat. We were in an abandoned house in Meridian. Some old blankets were laying in a corner with one door leading out of the room. They had seen the rat go into the room and told me it was a small 'itty bitty' thing that I could catch with my hand. So they positioned me in the doorway like I was behind home plate for the New York Yankees. They slowly walked over to the opposite end of the room and snatched the blanket off the floor to force the small itty bitty thing to run.

Frank and Jimmy were grinning like ‘possums eating sweet potatoes’ as the blanket soared into the air. Then it happened, this itty bitty rat took off running like a Kentucky thoroughbred on steroids. It looked like a 15-pound tomcat. And you guessed it, he ran straight toward the catcher in the doorway. This was my first observation of a barnyard rat. I met the beast face to face, and he seemed as mean as a velociraptor from the Jurassic Park movie. Fear struck my heart, and I panicked. I turned around so fast I fell upon all fours and begin to crawl as fast as I could down the hall of this dilapidated house. As I was screaming bloody murder, suddenly the beast ran between my legs and hands as he passed me running in the same direction.

After I collapsed on the floor from exhaustion, fear, and loss of blood to the brain, I turned to look at Frank and Jimmy. I just knew they would be apologetic for their miscalculation of the size of this rat. But instead, they were in stitches laughing at me. Fear turned to anger as I realized their scheme. They set me up for fear, fear set me up for anger, and anger set me up for wrath. The progression of fear is why the enemy loves to use it against us. 

Fear will keep us from standing firm. It will stop us from being what God intends for us to be. It will prevent us from taking chances or stepping out in faith for what we know the Lord wants us to do. Let us look to Christ for freedom from fear, and He will hear our cry. The unknown can be disconcerting, but we do not have to live in fear. The Lord is our peace!

Just don’t go… chasing rats!