Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Spiritual Baxters

This morning, I found myself being suddenly reminded of an old kid show I watched as a child. It was called The Great Space Coaster. The show featured a big clown named Baxter that drove his (human) friends around in a space ship.

My wife and I laughed at the cheesiness of the show, the goofy music, and the funny-looking clown named Baxter. But as much as I laughed at the show, the storyline I read arrested me. You see, Baxter was a runaway circus clown. He was abused by his circus master, who, after Baxter's escape, still hunted him down to take him back to his circus. Why? He had a unique ability to disappear at will.

He would use this gift to play tricks on his friends. But, his disappearing act also served as a defense mechanism. Whenever a situation arose that he didn't want to deal with, he simply disappeared. Sounds awfully human, doesn't it? Certainly, in the midst of the cheesiness, the show's writers were ingenious to make Baxter do this. How many kids deal with hard life issues and simply wish they could disappear? How many do disappear into a dark place in their soul?

I understand that feeling. I went through a tough time when my parents divorced. And my dad's subsequent relationship that only pushed me farther away. I often retreated into a dark place in my own soul. But, even us adults have our scary times that drive us into hiding. Whether it's death or divorce, financial hardship or family troubles, we too, like Baxter the clown, retreat into our hiding places. We shut ourselves away from people, from problems, and ultimately, from the Lord.

Thankfully, God has filled His Word with story after story of people that had their own times of trouble in which they wished they could escape. Check this list out:

Adam and Eve hid in the bushes.

Jacob ran miles away to hide from his brother.

Elijah ran to hide from the wicked Jezebel.

Jonah tried hiding in the bottom of a boat.

Peter hid in his fishing boat.

This is so far from what the Lord Jesus has for us. The only hiding place he wants us to retreat to is His Holy Presence. Just listen to the words of our Lord in Matthew 11:28:

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

When tough times arise, when our hearts are weary, what we need to do is "run to the Rock that is higher" than we are (see Psalm 61:2). There, our loving Savior is waiting to take the cares that so weigh us down. He is, as Hebrews 4:15 says, touched by the feeling of our weaknesses.

Friends, instead of retreating into that hiding place where even the Lord is locked out, run to the Savior. The God that was big enough to create this whole universe with just words is waiting to speak peace in midst of your storm.

God bless!

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