I still remember my home in Columbia, South Carolina, and the little bedroom I shared with my older brother. For some reason, I have a memory of running to bed, bare feet slapping the wood hallway floor from the den, until I arrived at the doorway of our room. I calculated the threshold-to-mattress distance, multiplied it by my sudden heart rate increase and divided it by toy obstacles between me and safety (I should have cleaned my room before bedtime). At five years old, it was me against the bogeymen under the bed.
They're still there...unseen monsters that try to grab my feet and threaten my peace. You probably have a few keeping you awake at night. The monster of failure spooks me into thinking that the whole success of my church and family rests on my feeble shoulders. The monster of rejection leads me to read into what other people say or do as an indication of whether or not I am significant. The monster of comparison taunts me with stories of "better" dads, "better" husbands, "better" pastors, "better" friends. When those gremlins grow weary, there are a few others in the closet on standby.
I eventually overcame my dread of the bedtime bogeyman. Today, I overcome resident fears by remembering who I am and whose I am. God brought 1 John 4:18 to mind today: "But perfect love drives out fear." The Father's perfect love for me provides such security that all fear is chased away. All irrational fears (not legitimate ones like the fear of falling into Niagara Falls if I lean over the railing) are tricks of the enemy to call into question my identity. The treat today is that I am loved. That's not just an action; It's a unchanging reality. God overcame monsters, turned on the light and made my path clear because of His great love for me! It makes me sleep a whole lot better at night.