December 18, 2017

Call Upon that One Who Loves You

Beneth Jones

“Sunshine on the Soapsuds”

Spring-green everywhere. Skies cloudless and blue. Fruit tree blossoms and lilacs delightfully pleasing the eye and the nose. It was on such a day as this when I experienced my first face-to-face meeting with a monster.

I was playing in the front yard, near a tall bush heavy with fragrant purple lilacs. I sat on the ground completely absorbed in a miniature landscape I had constructed of dirt, rocks, sticks, and imagination. Suddenly, the back of my neck prickled, and a cold shiver coursed through me. Something was towering over me! My head whirled halfway around, and my disbelieving eyes focused on an immense, glistening snout only inches from my face! The monster even had two enormous horns. Panic brought me to my feet, and I desperately backed into the lilac bush. Then came the awful effort to scream. For an endless time no sound would come from my straining throat. Then finally I managed a squeak, a croak, and a hoarse, grating yell. To my immeasurable relief, my mother broke into that waking nightmare, and at her approach the monster fled. Mom gathered me into her arms to soothe and quiet my trembling. Then, in the midst of her reassurances, her distinctive giggle escaped as she said, “It was only a cow, Honey-only a harmless old cowl” I can laugh too, now, at the memory of a little girl backed into a lilac bush by a monster whose terrifying presence was merely innocent, bovine curiosity.

Looking back through the years since my meeting with the cow, I can recognize many repetitions of that experience-not with cows, but with “monsters” just as fearsome. These have been the looming shapes of the unknown. For example, there were the five times during my growing-up years when I had to change schools. Each time we moved, I went through the agony of facing a new school. situation. Always, of course, the “cow” was soon seen in its true perspective as I settled in with new teachers and new friends.

Nor have such terrors been relegated only to childhood and adolescence. In fact, my adulthood has seen plenty of panicky scramblings into figurative lilac bushes! Frankly, every important deadline, each placement in a new situation, every added responsibility, finds me trembling inwardly as I gaze up into the monster face. “I can’t do it; I can’t!” my heart cries, and I head for the lilac bush lickety-split. Bu t in every such situation, the Lord comes to the rescue of His frightened child with comfort, reassurance, encouragement. My eyes are opened to the fact that [ face just another “cow.” And the dear, patient Lord leads me out of the scratchy old bush to face realistically the thing that terrified me.

How I have always admired people who possess self-confidence-people who can take on tasks with inner assurance that they have the ability to perform those tasks acceptably! Slowly, ever so slowly, the Lord is teaching me that I actually need no self-confidence, but only confidence in Him. I have only to call, and He will answer with the strength and ability I do not have myself, the calming, the confidence which He stands waiting to abundantly bestow. Every “monster” still makes my teeth chatter, but my trembling heart cries only “Father!” Then I wait for Him to reveal the “cow” and to give the courage to face it.

Perhaps you face your own cows and lilac bushes. Maybe there are “monsters” that seem too much for you. Call upon that One Who loves you and waits for your call that He may reduce all of your “monsters” to the harmless, old “cows” that they really are.

Beneth Jones is the wife of the Chancellor of Bob Jones University, Dr. Bob Jones III.

This article first appeared in Faith for the Family, March/April, 1975. It is republished here by permission.

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