Night Terrors

The parsonage’s security system alarm awoke me from a sound sleep. The digital display indicated a glass breakage alert. I silenced the alarm while talking to the security company.

I cautiously checked the first-floor perimeter but found nothing. Descending the stairs, I forgot about the basement motion detector. I rushed upstairs to silence the alarm again. Meanwhile, strobing blue lights announced the police’s arrival.

I walked outside with empty hands carefully displayed while identifying myself. The officer entered the house and checked the windows and doors.

Then I spied pieces of red latex beside the dining room’s exterior door. The previous night our family celebrated our granddaughter’s third birthday, complete with presents, cake, and balloons.

I suddenly realized what occurred. An overinflated balloon next to a heat vent burst in the middle of the night. The loud noise activated the glass breakage sensor. The officer listened dubiously to the explanation before nodding in agreement.

We all went back to bed, but sleep eluded me the rest of the night. I thought about what might have been and what could be. I recalled Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Many of our worries never occur. Most of our night terrors amount to nothing more than scraps of a red latex balloon.

You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

(Psalm 95)

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