My brothers had a favorite hiding place in our childhood home. All the bedroom doors and the main bathroom door all converged into a short hallway that also had a small linen closet. When no one was in the bathroom we would keep the door wide open since it swung out to open….and it perfectly concealed that hallway linen closet. THAT is where, countless times, my brothers would wait to jump out and surprise me. Their mission was a complete success almost every time! Just as I was about to pass that spot they would jump out and do their lion roaring impression.
I laugh when I think about it now. But back then I would get so mad at them…and mad at myself for not anticipating the scare! I knew they could be hiding there. Why did I repeatedly let my guard down? They loved to try to make me jump and, better yet, jump and scream. Truth be told – there is a bit of a blind spot here at the radio station – just outside the studio and several times I’ve been caught off guard and jumped in surprise. Even once let out a scream! Although I think I scared my co-worker more than they scared me! Every time it happens it reminds me of my ornery brothers.
It also makes me think about how easily we can forget that there is a very real enemy who doesn’t need to think up new ways to surprise us and cause fear to grip us. He uses the same tactics and trickery over and over. And if we are not on guard and alert to his attempts, the devil can catch us. He is even bold enough to hide in plain sight! 1 Peter 5:8 (CEV) makes it really clear: “Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.”
This is no time to let our guard down! Our enemy may be sneaky…but our God is greater! And He is always with us.