Flippy and Floppy are my resident bunnies who were born under my peony bush eight years ago last spring. People ask me how I know they’re still the same bunnies after all these years. It’s easy. I know them by their running.
When Flippy runs, he tilts a little to the right. When his brother, Floppy, runs, he tilts a little to the left. My unscientific hypothesis is that they are mirror twins. That’s why they do everything as if they’re looking onto a mirror, facing one another.
I have no idea why the tilting happens. It’s just a part of who they are. Charming, tilting bunnies.
Their personalities are opposite, as well. Flippy’s the outgoing one. He’s not afraid to get close to me. He’s even run over my foot a few times. If he were human, he’d be the one at social gatherings who’d tell the great stories and have everyone laughing. He’d be the life of the party.
Floppy’s cautious. To this day he stands statue-still when he sees me. As if he can simply blend into the background. There’s no place in my yard where he’s not conspicuous. If Floppy were human, he’d be the one standing in the corner drinking too much red Hawaiian punch, twiddling his paws, wondering how soon he can go home without drawing too much attention to himself.
Of course, the bunny brothers’ running has slowed way down. Once great adventurers visiting other backyards frequently and for extended periods of time, they’ve become home bodies. They have two homes. Their summer home, which is breezy and in one part of the yard. And their winter home, which is heavily thicketed and protected. It keeps the winter wind out and houses what I know must be some pretty warm bunny slippers. I haven’t seen the slippers, but I have seen some blue fuzz after a long, cold winter’s night.
They’ve already moved into their winter home. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of an early winter, or just a way for aging bachelor bunnies to get a head start on the changes in the upcoming season. In either case, I know it’s still them by their running.
God recognizes us by our running, too. He knows our fears. Like Floppy, he knows the situations that make us want to stand in the corner and hide. But we cannot hide from the Lord. David tells us that in Psalm 139.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (verses 7-9).
Why should we run from the Lord? He knows us better than we know ourselves. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (verse 13). He was there at the very beginning, before the beginning of us. “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth” (verse 15).
He knows our every movement. Our every thought. “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” (verses1-2).
He knows what makes us want to run.
What makes you want to run? What causes you fear? What secret fears, memories, regrets, what ifs are you carrying around inside? Do you want to let go of that extra baggage? It’s possible. Give it to the one who knows you better than you know yourself. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
And once we let go of our fears and our worries, we can say to the Lord with boldness and conviction, like David in Psalm 139, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (verses 23-24).
Yes, the Lord knows us by our running. But unlike Flippy and Floppy, we can choose to stop running away and run into our Lord’s loving arms.