She’s afraid of lake flies.
A silly thing, really. I mean, lake flies might be annoying but they’re harmless. And inevitable. Here in our lakeside town we endure a stretch of about three weeks every May when it’s impossible to venture outside without confronting swarms of buzzing vermin. That’s just how life is.
But she doesn’t know that.
And in her eyes, those lake flies might as well be flying monkeys.
“Daddy! They going to get in!!” I heard wailing behind me and turned to see my husband biking through a cloud of bugs, our daughter in the trailer behind him. We were out for a Sunday ride and thought hey, wouldn’t it be fun to wheel through the boathouse parking lot to see the pelicans. Except. As soon as we turned the corner we hit a wall of lake flies standing between us and the lake’s edge.
And our daughter wigged out.
“They can’t hurt you!” My husband tried soothing and reasoning with the poor child as he navigated through a mass of flies. “I’m getting us out of here, don’t worry!” Just by opening his mouth to speak, my hubby risked catching bugs in his teeth or swallowing one whole. Big sister and I rode ahead, breathing through our noses.
“Daaaaddyyyy!!” Our little one was screaming now. “Go faster! Go faster, Daaaadddyyyy!” It didn’t matter that a net covered her trailer seat, protecting her from the same flies that landed all over my husband’s shirt and hair. And it made no difference at all that those flies were way more afraid of her than she was of them.
In her world, all my daughter saw was fear.
Have you been there?
Maybe you’re grown up enough to brush off lake flies, but we all face something, sometime—that awful thing that paralyzes us and clouds our vision.
Abnormal test results.
Losing a job.
Moving to a town where no one knows your name.
Any number of fears for today or worries for tomorrow can surround us until we’re swarming in a panic of what ifs. And we cry out to God—HURRY, LORD! GET ME OUT OF HERE!
But we forget.
That thing we fear the most—it cannot hurt us. Because like those flies that stick around a few weeks then die, all fear has a lifespan. And our Father navigates us through it.
“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole” (1 Peter 1:3–5, MSG).
Our daughter survived the ride home with nary a lake fly on her. And I learned a lesson from that family bike ride.
Avoid the boathouse in May, for one thing.
And remember—what to us seems monstrous is to God nothing more than a harmless bug. In our finite human minds we may panic because we do not see the antagonist for what it truly is—small, impotent, and perishing. Because God, the all-knowing, everlasting, ultra-loving Father, is keeping careful watch over his beloved children. He covers us with his net. And he will never fail to lead us safely home.
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).