People don’t necessarily categorize me as a compassionate person. I’m okay with that because I realize we are all different. However, when it comes to fear and my kids experiencing it, my compassion goes through the roof. Perhaps it’s my firsthand experience with fear as an adult that allows me to help my kids through dark bouts of this debilitating four-letter word. In 2009, while my family and two other overnight guests slept peacefully in our home, our house was robbed. The thieves stole my computer and a brand new truck. I awoke in the morning to doors wide open. Confusion turned to horror as I realized what had happened. In the coming weeks, my mind went to terrible places. I felt violated. I felt unsafe. I hated when the light of day turned to the dark of night. I experienced the gripping effects of fear. Whether my middle of the night imaginings was real or not, the fear I felt was. It’s been five years since that incident, and fear still creeps in now and again. It causes me to cling to one promise.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6
That’s the same promise I reassure my kids of when they are scared. I don’t tell them that there’s nothing to be afraid of. I tell them it’s ok to be afraid. Fear is real, but Jesus is always with us, and they can talk to Him when they’re scared. The “monsters” under the bed may be a figment of the imagination, but what they’re feeling in their heart is not. I recently read my kids a devotion out of Jesus Calling 365 Devotions For Kids (great book, by the way). On the January 10th entry, Sarah Young talks about storing up treasures in heaven and creating a wealth of trust to use when needed. As you practice trust and store up treasures of trust, then when fear and other difficult things come, we will know how to trust God. That’s what I want my kids to learn: loving Jesus doesn’t make us invincible to bad things, but when bad things come our way, we can trust in Him wholeheartedly.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? – Psalm 56:3-4
Where’s God When I’m Scared? He’s right there with us. He’s hurting with us. He’s loving us. He’s holding us. I’m sure Daniel was scared when he was in the lion’s den. I bet Jonah experienced fear when he ended up in the belly of the whale. Perhaps Noah felt some fear when he was waiting for the rain to come, but they all had one thing in common. God never left them. He’ll never leave you. He’ll never leave our precious little ones, especially when they’re scared.
Your Turn How do you reassure your kids that God is ever-present in their lives, especially when they’re scared?