Day One: I heard something scratching in the boys’ bathroom wall . . . not good.

Day Two: I heard more scratching and named the source “Godzilla.”

Day Three: Godzilla was hungry. I knew this because the scratching intensified.

HamsterDay Four: I mentioned Godzilla to the kids, asking if they had heard any roaring. I was then informed that Godzilla was actually Bubbles, my son’s adorable, fuzzy, teddy bear hamster. It seemed that cute, little Bubbles had once again escaped his hamster mansion, squeezed his plump body through a hole the size of a penny, and plopped into the dusty confines of the wall. The rescue operation then commenced.

We cut a dollar-bill-sized hole in the wall and put an itsy-bitsy bit of food and water a smidgen outside the hole, expecting Bubbles to smell it and launch himself out of the wall through the hole. Then, we waited . . . and waited and waited and waited. We could hear him scratch a little, and we could see his twitching whiskers scarcely moving just inside the hole. We knew at any second he would come flying out, launching himself into the water dish. But he didn’t. Bubbles seemed to believe his plan was best and scampered further into his black hole.

Now, pause for just a moment and imagine you are lost in the Sahara in midsummer without food or water. You are doomed to die if someone doesn’t come to your rescue very soon. Would you or would you not hurl yourself toward the rescuer and guzzle a gallon of water? Of course you would, if your survival depended on it! Why, then, when it comes to our spiritual and emotional survival, do we act like Bubbles and try to escape the loving hands of God? Why do we fear walking out of the darkness and into His glorious light? Dependence on God requires us to trust and believe that He will keep His promises. And candidly, that terrifies most of us, including me.

But we shouldn’t be terrified; God loves us and knows what’s best for us.

What happened to Bubbles? Well, it took the little guy three more days to stop running inside the walls. Slowly, he began to take teensy-weensy steps toward the food in our open hands, finally trusting we were there to save his helpless little life. If only we would stop running and be more like Bubbles and return to the arms of our loving Father after we’ve run away and hidden ourselves inside the dark “walls” of life away from Him.

Have you run away from God? He knows where you are, and He knows you need Him. Return to Him today.

Ponder these verses of Scripture:

Humble yourselves . . . under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6–7 NIV)

I pray . . . that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18–19 NIV)