The Beaver Dam
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalms 23:4 WEB.
It was dusk dark, and I was alone in the middle of a large swamp called the Beaver Dam. I had ridden my dirt bike over to my cousin's house earlier that day. He stayed about four miles from us through dense woodland and swamp, but we had a trail through the beaver dam to each other's house.
We were both about ten years old at the time. After playing video games far later than we should have, it dawned on me that it was getting dark, and I had no headlight. So I started the journey home. Well, riding through the swamp on a motorcycle at night alone with no lights was scary enough, but I soon found it could be made much worse.
The bike I was riding was a Suzuki RM80 that had been professionally built and raced in motocross before I got it. I had paid for it by working in the tobacco fields, and it was the fastest in the community.
I had heard stories of bears and panthers in the area, and I could just feel one chasing me. So I kept glancing back into the shadows, and each time I'd give the bike a bit more throttle. Before long, I was almost wide open, and that was fast.
I was flying down the muddy, rutted trail and forgot all about a huge canal ditch that you needed to slow down and cross. It was dark, I was moving fast, and it seemed to appear out of nowhere. I soared over the ditch, glanced off the far side of it, launched way up into the air, and started flipping.
As the bike and I were flying through the air in a tangled mess, I began kicking the starter to get moving again. Fortunately, I landed in a huge pile of mud, rolled over a few times, and took straight back off. I don't believe the wheels ever stopped turning. By then, I was terrified. Thank God I made it home safely.
Mark Twain said, "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."
The moral of the story is this: You can make a bad situation so much worse than it really is by dwelling on it. The more you think about it and talk about it, the bigger it will grow in your mind until it consumes you in pure panic. Most of the things we worry about never come to pass.
That was the most scared I've ever been in my life, and it was all in my mind. I would have been perfectly safe to have stopped, built a fire, and spent the night camping. So don't let your fears snowball and consume you. Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Never allow your circumstances to deceive you into believing that God is not with you.
What you feed in your thought life will grow, and what you starve will die. Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You cover me with Your peace, fill me with Your Spirit, and remove the fear and anxiety from me. Please help me live a victorious life. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!
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