Fear and trembling
During three years as pastor of Woodland Baptist Church, Wake Fiorest, North Carolina, we lived in the parsonage just a short distance from the church. I was a full-time pastor and seminasry student so life was on the run and we were constantly in motion. One evening I was preparing for a funeral the next day and discovered I needed a book that was in my study at the church. When I went outside around 11:30 p.m. it was raining cats and dogs. So, I decided to drive the 150 yards to my office.
Because of the rain I parked as close to the back door of the church as I could, just a few yards from the open grave prepared for the service the next day. It was a macabre, truly spooky night. In a flash I left the car running with the door open, unlocked the church door, grabbed the book from my desk, and jumped in the car for the quick drive home.
That's when something in the backseat moved and touched the back of my neck. It was dark, wet, and frightening. So, I jumped out of the car and ran home as fast as my short legs would carry me. When I arrived Harriet immediatley knew I was scared. Being wet was the milder element of my appearance. I reallyi thought some crazed maniac was on the loose and skulking around our church cemetary. After I calmed a little she asked where the car was. From the front porch we could see the car running, headlights ablaze in the church parking lot.
Brave girl, she went with me to get the car. When we got there we found Archie, the Irish Setter that belonged to our good friends David and Polly Powell in the back seat. He had been so excited to see me on that cold, wet, dark night, he had licked me on the back of the neck. Crazy dog! Scared the life out of me.
Maybe something like this happened to the Apostle Paul. To the Corinthians he wrote---
And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.
1 Corinthians 2:3, ESV
As my grandmother used to say, "well, I declare...".