There is something we all fear. Even the biggest and the strongest fear something. For some they just do a good job of hiding it. Patience is also something most of us have trouble with. As for me I do a pretty good job of hiding my impatience, but none the less I can be impatient.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:6-8
For the past several days the weather here in the Cove has been typical for this time of year. Hot, humid and at times overcast which always brings about the chance for a thunderstorm. Around here they can be predictable to some extent, but also random.
So when CJ and I settled in for the night to watch some TV we weren’t expecting what came next. As I sat enjoying a glass of ice tea CJ was curled up by my side in the recliner. We were relaxed without a care in the world. Two friends calling it a day watching our favorite TV show when thunder crashed into our quiet sanctuary. It made us both jump and look out the window. It was like God had just pounded on our door demanding to get our attention.
For the most part today was uneventful, except for his bath. He enjoys his bath time as long as it’s in the tub with warm water. However, today I decided to give him one outside. The sun was shining and the air was warm, but the water from the hose was cold. As I ran the water over him his eyes looked at me with a sense of distaste, annoyed that I was spraying him with this liquid air conditioner set on high instead of the warmth of a filled tub. But he did as he usual does, sat there patiently waiting for me to finish while in his mind he was hoping it was over with soon. I knew what he was thinking. He was waiting for that moment when we were done with the water torture so he could roll in the warm grass to dry off.
His patience towards me at times is surprising. If there is one thing I lack, as I’m sure most of us do, is patience. CJ seems to have a lot of it and some to spare. He’s patient with me when I get caught up doing something and feed him his lunch late. He’s patient when he wakes me in the middle of the night as I drag my half asleep self outside so he can use the bathroom. And he’s patient with me when I’m gone for the day as he sits on the back of the couch looking out the window waiting to see me pull up and come home. But tonight was my turn to be patient with him…
We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. – 2 Corinthians 6:5-7
After the initial rumble of thunder that came crashing through the door disturbing our quiet night, the sky opened up with a steady stream of lightening and a brief power outage. If it wasn’t for the candle I had lit earlier we would have been in darkness feeling our way to the other side of the house to get a flashlight from my backpack. But there was no way I was leaving the comfort of the recliner or CJ. He doesn’t fear much. Hiking in the woods, kayaking, chasing small animals into their holes or approaching other dogs three times his size at the park just to say hello. However, his greatest fear are thunderstorms and he’s not afraid to show his fear. He has no fear in showing his fear.
With each rumble and flash of lightening CJ will shake uncontrollably and will nuzzle his small furry body as close to me as he can get, begging me to hold him. As the storm continued to pound outside I patiently held him tight until it passed and he fell asleep on my lap assured with no doubt and no more fear because he knew everything was alright.
We all fear something, but what do we do when we are afraid? Some of us do nothing. We try to hold it inside and show no fear. Our culture today tells us fear is a sign of weakness. But each time we have a storm CJ reminds me it’s okay to show fear. Because it’s during that time of fear we need each other for comfort and assurance. And sometimes during our moments of fear all we need is someone to be patient with us until that fear has passed. Tonight CJ needed that assurance and patience from me, and I’m sure there will be a time I will need it from him.
Life is one long hiking trip and at times it can be scary. We can either choose to face our fears by being honest and open about them or we can face them alone. As for CJ and I, we’re going to face our fears together, patiently caring for each other through them because it will only make us stronger and closer as friends. So what are you afraid of and do you have the courage to express your fears with someone who will be patient with you and see you through it no matter the size of the storm?