No longer spooked Challenge entry 4th August 2016 – Intermediate – Topic:Eerie

When I was about 10 years old I we lived in a small town in Wiltshire, in the South West of the United Kingdom. My parents were the local Salvation Army officers, and we would often travel to Bristol for regional meetings. If we were returning in the dark, I used to beg my mum to drive home the long way. This was not an excuse to stay up even later. Someone had told me a tale of Sally in the Woods. A young girl had got lost or possibly been abandoned on a lonely stretch of road running through dense woods. She was reputed to still haunt the area, appearing suddenly in the middle of the road. Drivers would be so startled they would crash into the trees at the roadside. As a consequence, I hated travelling that road in the dark, and would close my eyes and duck my head as we came to the eerie forest.

Of course the story was untrue, as was the report that gypsies living in the woods just behind our house would kidnap young boys for some mysterious purpose. Occasionally since then I’ve been spooked in various situations: a doll that looked lifelike in the gloomy flat, noises in an empty worship hall, strange patterns of light in a darkened room. But on the whole I’ve grown out of these things, in part through greater self-awareness but mainly because of growing confidence in God.

As Christians we need to leave behind some things from our past that hinder our faith in God. Paul reminded the Roman Christians of the work of the Holy Spirit: The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15 NIV). And to Timothy who was unsure of his position in the church he wrote: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV).

So let us lay aside the irrational fears of the spiritually immature and trust the power of the Spirit within us.

About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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