Claustrophobia and the trap of offense

My brothers and I all have claustrophobia issues. As children, if you tried to put a blanket over our heads, you’d undoubtedly receive claw marks and bruises in the process. Never put a blanket over a Curtis kid’s head.

Fun and games gone wrong

One day my brothers, nieces, and I were playing hide and seek. My niece Jimera was “it”, while the other four of us scampered to find a place to hide. Inevitably, we all ran to the same spot: a 5×5 square foot closet in my brother’s room. Instead of fighting over who would lay claim to the ultimate hiding spot, we all decided to cram ourselves in and shut the door. She would never think that we would all be hiding in the same place.

After some time a few of us became a little… skiddish. Excited, rapid breaths quickly transitioned into shallow, anxious ones. What was taking her so long?

It was time to make the run for “home”.

I was sitting at the door, so they whispered for me to open it. I turned the knob and pushed.


I tried again.


My brother tried.


Suddenly, absolute panic ensued as everyone including myself (the oldest of the bunch) hysterically screamed and cried. I was terrified, of course, but feeling the terror of everyone else in that cramped space was overwhelming. It’s enough to drive a person insane! Covering my ears, I yelled, “SHUT UP! STOP IT! STOP IT!” The shrieks and sobs gradually came to a halt, and only sniffles and soft whimpers remained as I tried to muster up some courage.

“I know you’re scared, but this isn’t helping. Let’s all just call for Jimera together. I’m sure she can open it from the outside.”

Looking back, I’m sure my “come on guys, let’s do this together attitude” came from some Disney movie I’d recently watched. Within a few minutes, Jimera heard us from downstairs and came up to figure out why we seemed to have forgotten the rules of hide and seek. As she opened the door, we all tumbled out and cried and laughed as we shared the story of our misfortune.

Needless to say, not a single one of us ever used that closet as a hiding place again.

Prodding me back into the fire

Last month while we were in Kitale, our new friends Patricia and Bill gave us a copy of the book “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere. Their timing couldn’t have been more perfect because after I wrote my last inner healing post, I got stuck. Maybe stuck isn’t the right word. I became unwilling to go further. Any and every excuse I could make for why I needed to skip the time set aside to lie beneath God’s magnifying glass was accepted without question. I didn’t want to deal with the mess I knew God wanted to pull out of me. It was just easier to just try to be a nice person and forget about the “healing process”.

Today, when I felt the temptation to be offended again, I decided to pick up the book. Reading the first chapter, I was encouraged to see that John also shares the need to lay down our pride and our “right to be right. (Looks liked God was speaking to me after all.)

Then this happened:

“Anyone who has trapped animals knows that a trap needs two things to be successful: It must be hidden in the hopes that an animal will stumble upon it, and it must be baited to lure the animal into the trap’s deadly jaws.”

As I reflected on this section, the Lord began to develop the image in my mind to help the application sink in.

Biting the hand that helps you

Have you ever seen an animal caught in a trap? He will flail and ferociously struggle in his panic to get free, but what usually ends up happening is either whatever damage the trap initially did becomes worse, making death  more imminent for the defenseless creature, or the animal will fight until he has spent all of his energy. If someone were to come along and try to help, out of fear, the critter will likely turn on the person. Friend or foe, he doesn’t care. He’s just scared.

God intends to lovingly and gently set me free from the trap of offense, but in my fear, I’ve been fighting to free myself, and I’ve been fighting Him. I want to be free, but I’m just scared.

Of course I didn’t know it at the time, but the Lord taught me a very powerful lesson that day I was trapped in the closet. Call on His name in trust instead of screaming out in fear. Just as my niece heard us and came to our rescue, surely He will come.

I am a fan of reinforcing revelation with song, so here’s a few worship songs for you. Much love! (Whisper His Name) (You’ll Come)

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