It's not every day that one gets chased by a six foot tall, white rabbit.
Well, he wasn't six feet tall. But he was white. He was a rabbit. And he did chase me. Well, at the very least, he followed me!
One of our walking routes takes us through an old, affluent, and beautiful neighborhood of our city. Last week, I happened upon a resident of the area, namely the six foot tall white rabbit mentioned (ok, he's not six feet tall). Harvey was busy enjoying a carrot when I passed by, and didn't seem to pay me much attention. A gentleman walking his dog noticed that I had seen Harvey (what else could be his name?). "That's our neighborhood rabbit" said the man in nothing less than utmost seriousness. "We don't know where he came from, but we all feed him and keep an eye on him." I found this interesting, not knowing that neighborhoods had pet rabbits. I also felt concern due to the large number of dogs owned by the families in the area, leading to a prayer that the Lord would watch over Harvey.
I didn't see the rabbit on my next few journeys. I did save him a piece of the apple I carry with me on our walks, placing it in a bush near the place I had first seen Harvey snacking on the carrot. Yesterday, however, I again happened upon Harvey. He sat still in one of the resident's yards, approximately 15 yards from the sidewalk on which I walked. "Hey Harv!" I said as I passed by. He responded accordingly, in the quiet rabbitese for which the species (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is so well known. I smiled and turned to go on my way, but as I did, seemed to notice a white flash out of the corner of my eye. Sure enough, Harvey had risen, raced to the sidewalk, and now pursued me with an obviously determined purpose to either (1) join me in my walk (2) attack me (3) inspect me to see if I posed a threat to the neighborhood. I wasn't keen on any of the options, so I stopped, turned around, and suggested that Harvey change his plans about the walk-attack -inspection possibility. He pressed on at first, but when I repeated my suggestion, Harvey terminated his pursuit. Whew! It's a little scary being chased by a six foo… well, you know!
"The wicked flee when no man pursueth" (Proverbs 28:1).
I was never really concerned about being chased by a rabbit, at least in the instance I reference. I have, however, given in to far lesser temptations to fear in my lifetime. We live in a generation wherein Satan, the world, and the flesh constantly disseminate threatening notions regarding every imaginable possibility of peril. As one humorist lamented, "I'm scared to get out of bed in the morning. But come to think of it, I'm also scared to stay in bed!" Giant rabbits are everywhere these days, hot in pursuit of our well being and peace of heart and mind. As Solomon declared, wicked folks run from the threat. Sadly, however, believers often join the masses who actually head for destruction by running from destruction. We do well to jump off the broad path, take a deep and prayerful breath, and look back to see a bunny rather than a six foot tall rabbit in pursuit. "In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me" (Psalm 56:4).
How safe are believers in the Lord Jesus? "Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). This does not mean that challenging things do occur in our lives. "We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). However, things do not just "happen" in the life of Christians (Proverbs 12:21). Our Lord measures the threats and attacks He allows to challenge us. Nothing can reach us without passing through the Father and the Son in whom we abide. Nor can anything hinder the Holy Spirit's enabling whereby "in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). A giant and threatening rabbit in pursuit? Or a bunny? Or even more, as we look behind, might we discover something or Someone else lovingly devoted to our care and best interests?…
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
"Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me."
Weekly Memory Verse
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.