Beware The Cheetah

| First Published In Kouga Express Newspaper |

A few nights ago, I awoke from a startling dream. I sat upright, and checked my alarm clock. It was four a.m. on the dot. ‘Great,’ I muttered out loud. ‘Now I’m going to struggle to sleep again.’

As I tried in vain to go back to sleep, I started analysing my dream. Dreams are a fantastic tool to help us understand our lives, to work through our subconscious feelings, and they can sometimes even paint a picture of what’s yet to come.

In this dream, a young and friendly cheetah stood outside of my house. He was beckoning to come in, but for some reason, I knew I mustn’t allow it to enter. I kept checking the front and back door, making sure it was locked. I also double-checked the windows, making sure they were properly closed. Still, the cheetah tried in vain to get inside my house. ‘Please let me in,’ his eyes pleaded. ‘I won’t hurt you.’

As I lay in my bed, I thought, ‘Maybe this is God’s way of telling me I need to check all entries into my house.’ I got up from my bed. I walked through the house, and checked all the doors and windows. Nothing was out of place.

Back in my bed, I tossed and turned. Everything was fine, but why was I so restless all of a sudden? Then I felt an emotion I haven’t felt in a long time: fear. Fear started to overwhelm me, convincing me that my life was in danger. Now I was afraid, very afraid.

I started praying out loud, asking the Lord to help me. But no help came. Then I prayed in tongues, and it only calmed my spirit a little. Then this question popped up in my head, as bright as the street lights that were on outside: ‘What is it that you really fear?’

I pondered this question for a while, trying to get to the root of my fear. Then I realized: I was fearing for my life. I was afraid that I would die.

A light bulb went on in my head. Why do I fear death? I know that death can be unexpected, even painful. But the more I started thinking about it, the more absurd the fear of death seemed to me… I know what awaits me on the other side; I’ve seen heaven numerous times. Sometimes at night, when I dream, I experience heaven. I have seen a glimpse of where I’m headed. Heaven is my portion, my inheritance. What can man do to me, except to take my life away from me?

Lately, there’s been a storm of fear surrounding people. A fear of dying, a fear of sickness, a fear of losing life. It’s overwhelming, overpowering, and it just keeps on coming.

I find it interesting that I dreamt about a mild and young cheetah. He looked safe, even welcoming. He wanted to come into my life. Yet I resisted him from the start. Fear can be like that. It looks safe, and it gives us the sense that it’s concerned for our well-being. But when we give in to that little cheetah called fear, it becomes big. Soon it devours and overwhelms. It is up to us to kill the giant while it’s still young.

As I got to the root cause of my fear that night, I started laughing. Fear wants to intimidate us; it wants to tell us we won’t make it. Fear was trying to make me fear for my life when I already had a deep conviction in my heart that my life is only in Jesus’ hands. I know where I’m headed; I don’t have to be afraid. No matter what happens to me on this earth, or how it happens, our lives is but a mere fleeting time. We have an eternity waiting for us, and it is just around the corner. I release over you an open heaven where you will receive a revelation of what heaven looks like.

And so… I turned around in my bed, laughed off the cheetah called fear, and peacefully went back to sleep.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.’ Psalm 4:8


Kristene DiMarco wrote a song about fear. Did you know that there’s 365 verses in the Bible written about fear? That’s one verse for each day of the year!

Carmen, one of my childhood heroes, was a brilliant singer from the 90’s. He wrote one song called ‘No Monsters.’ I was reminded of this song again while I was writing this column.

All That Lives Forever by Steffany Gretzinger

We’re travelers here, only passing through
And every breath we breathe is coming back to You
We’re strangers here, I know it’s true
That death is just a door that leads us home to You

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