It was Saturday night. A few students lounged in the darkness of the television room of Talley Hall at Southern State College watching a horror film.
These unfortunate students were too poor to return home for the weekend and hadn’t had any luck getting a date. I was one of their number. If memory serves me correctly we watched Nick Adams and Boris Karloff in a film called, Die Monster Die!
For some reason my roommate Ed hadn’t gone home that weekend and there was another friend there named Don. The film was cheesy but, hey we were 18 or 19 and at that age you’ll watch basically whatever is on. When it’s a choice between poor television and studying, there is no contest.
In this film, Boris Karloff used radioactivity to mutate his victims into ugly and scary things. His wife’s face had kind of melted and she went around trying to kill people with an ax.
Well, there was this one scene where Nick Adams walked slowly through the dark house, opening doors, one after another.
Opening doors in a horror movie is bad news because you never know what’s going to happen. Well, as old Nick snuck along in the dark, spooky music doing its job in the background, suspense rose. He opened a door and out hopped Karloff’s crazy wife with a veil over her face and an ax poised to give our hero a splitting headache.
And when she jumped out, our friend Don screamed! A 19-year old squealed like a little girl. I wasn’t too critical, though, because I wasn’t far from it myself. I managed to keep a check on my emotions so that I could laugh at him.
Later, back in our dorm room, Ed had to step out for something. Ed was 6’ 4” and about 240. Keep this in mind because it’s important to the story. While he was gone I had an inspiration.
He usually covered his stereo with a piece of plastic. “If I drape that thing over my head and hide behind the door and jump out when he comes back, he’s going to think I’m that old lady in the film.”
So I did, and he did.
It worked even better than I thought. And I lived to tell you about it, though for a moment my survival was an open question since he was a lot bigger than me. He had a lot of pranks on his conscience, too, and maybe that’s why he let me live—after afflicting a certain amount of pain.
It was worth it, though.
Do you ever go through life expecting some radioactive lady to jump out from behind a door to confront you with an ax? Or to speak more clearly, do you live dreading what might happen?
That negative expectancy can take a lot of the joy out of living.
A fellow in the Bible must have had this problem—not the radioactive lady but the fear of horrible things happening. Boris Karloff hadn’t been born yet but this man seems to have had scary monsters that haunted him—probably stuff like sickness, war, family problems, need to support his family, fear of loved ones dying in accidents (killed in a stampede by a camel herd maybe?).
But he found an answer to his fear.
“You won’t need to worry about dangers at night or arrows during the day. And you won’t fear diseases that strike in the dark or sudden disaster at noon.” (Ps. 91:5, 6 Contemporary English Version). Okay friend. What’s your secret?
“The Lord says, ‘If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.'” (vv. 14, 15)
The King James version of the Bible calls this place of faith and confidence, “the secret place of the Most High.” I love that.
Does that mean we’ll never have problems, never fight lions and bears? I don’t think so. The Bible is full of stories of people who trusted God in all kinds of battles. But He promised to fight for us. He promised to stay with us, never to leave us.
We take some horrible knocks. At times I think that old lady has landed an ax blow between my eyes. But God helps me to get up and keep going, keep trusting, keep fighting.
Victory is guaranteed because He’s already won it at Calvary. And even if death seems to steal our lives for a moment, we’re really just a seed that’s been planted our bodies waiting to burst forth into life to join our spirit.
Don’t leave fearing what’s behind the next door. Put your faith in God. He’ll give you the strength to be victorious whatever hides ahead of you.
“One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving”
— Amy Carmichael