There are wolves in the woods.
We’ve known it since we were children.
Every time we knelt down to pick the berries
or smell the roses we felt uneasy.
We sensed we were far from home. On such days something within us begged to find our way back to the safety of the garden wall. Little did we realize we had already lost our way–and so had our parents before us. So we began to claw and scream our way through life until the pain became so great we began to use and abuse and numb our senses. This is what it means to be “chasing Eden”–to try everything, hoping for something or someone to show us the way to paradise so we can finally stop the pain.
The wolves made their marks on us before we were old enough to protect ourselves. Sometimes they howled at us through human voices with put downs, accusations and yelling. Other times we were startled by physical switches, belts and hands which brought the wolves out of the bushes to attack us. The wolves did their worst when we came in for the night believing we were safe–only to discover they were hiding under the bed and in the closet or whatever we thought was our sanctuary.
Most of us realize those wolves were real–and now they live on in our imaginations, still wrecking our peace. Many of us still hide behind fashion, crowds, sex, substances and wealth. We’ve learned to numb out on so many things just trying to escape the wolves.
If you grew up with these wolves, you know it’s not easy to escape them because they damaged our lives before we realized what was happening. And there is no one to blame because those who introduced us were victims too. The wolves had no remorse about who they hurt–they mauled our parents’ psyches before they got to us.
We grew up hoping to escape the wolves–only to discover some wolves grow bigger with time. They wear names like Abandonment, Loss, Inferiority, Rejection and Shame. They are legion. Fear is their family name and there is only one way to escape them.
We were not designed to live in fear. The ancient book says “Fear not” over 365 times. This offers a fearless thought for every day of the year and here is the crowning jewel of them all–
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear.
There is still fragrance and color along the path, but some days we get so busy running out from our fear we forget to smell the flowers. We carry our empty baskets full of fear and it seems we leave no room for gratitude and peace.
Perhaps the wolves have ravaged your heart until you can’t even speak of Love out loud. Do you think Love is like the parent who withheld love and affection from you? Or people who judge you in the name of Love and treat you like you were never good enough?
If you’ve been beaten and abused in the name of “love,” you might find it hard to speak the word “Father” without feeling like your mouth is full of wool. You might imagine Love is like those people who hang out with the wolves, but Love’s essence beyond any human interpretation. No human has ever come close to perfect love–not even Mother Teresa.
The wolves hang around damaged people, but they always flee in the presence of Love. They can’t stand Love and they know they’ll never be able to touch your soul if you run to Love for shelter. Even if you can’t stand God or are afraid of God, all you have to do is call out for Perfect Love–because Love is calling out your name.
Love will never abandons you.
Love always provides for you.
Love makes you whole.
Love will never leave you or reject you.
Love erases all of your shame.
“Look, I’ve tattooed your name on my arms
so your stress is always in front of me.
Even if your mother neglects you
and forgets you–
I will never forget you.”
“My love is everlasting
and burns like a fire
that can never be put out.”
You can trust Love to protect and shelter you.
Yes, it might seem like a fairy tale to expect Love to rescue you, but for now all you need to know is that Love cares and wants to shelter you from the wolves. You might not realize it yet, but Perfect love is getting ready to cast out your fear—but only if you choose Love.