Overcoming Fear with Jesus..
My seven year old son looked up at me from the backseat of our car. As I glanced back at his reflection in the rear view mirror he said, “Mom, do you ever feel so excited to do something, then at the last minute start to get scared? Like when I get so excited to go to the store with Dad, then I decide I don’t want to go because I am afraid something bad will happen.”
My stomach dropped.
His words broke my heart right in two, and I felt it shatter to a million pieces within me.
Of course I knew what this is like. I lived it out nearly every day since age 12, and still struggle with it at times.
Anxiety. Worry. Fear.
It appears my precious, kind-hearted, sensitive little boy is following in his mommy’s footsteps.
“Yes”, I replied, not wanting him to worry any more than he already was,”sometimes I feel that way.”
I asked him what types of things make him worry like this.
“Remember how when we’re at the store, and Titus walks too slow all the time and I always tell him to hurry up, and you always say not to do that because it’s not my job? Well, that’s one of those times. I’m afraid we’re going to lose him. I’m afraid you’re going to forget about him.”
Oh my sweet, baby boy. You’ll always be my baby, my firstborn. Growing way too fast. Already dealing with adult thoughts and filling your little mind with grown-up worry.
I was speechless, and cut straight through.
I tried, again, to explain to him that it’s not his job to worry like that about his little brother. That I’m always looking out for him, and Titus and Noah too. I will never let anything happen to him, and neither will Dad. That we will never leave them alone anywhere, and we will always keep them safe, because we love them with all our heart.
This is just one example of many in what is appearing to be a common theme for my oldest son.
How desperately and gut-wrenchingly I want my little boy to stop worrying about these things that no seven year old should ever have to think about. How desperately I want him to understand that I’ve got him. I’m not going to let anything happen to him. He can trust me to take care of him and his brothers, always and forever.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (NIV)
Overcoming the fear with Jesus
It got me thinking…
Is this how God feels when we fill our hearts with anxiety, worry, and fear….when we try to take the reins by controlling our circumstances and those we love, because we’re afraid we’ll lose them? Because we’re afraid we, or they, will be forgotten? Because we’re afraid if we don’t have our hand in the mix, something bad will happen? Like we can somehow make it all work out?
Is this how God feels, this gut-wrenching, aching pain for His children, when we turn to fear instead of to Him?
Is this how God feels when we think we have the answer, only to have Him whisper from Heaven, “No, my sweet daughter, trust in Me, where you will find rest for your weary soul.” (Matthew 11:28-29).
All God wants us to do is trust Him. He wants us to give it all over to Him completely, one hundred percent, every single day. How terribly it must grieve God’s heart, and how deeply it must hurt him to see us hurting and agonizing, struggling and worrying, over things we were never meant to control.
When fear, anxiety, or worry clouds our minds and weigh down our hearts with heaviness, we must remember that it was never God’s plan for us to take on that load by ourselves.
God wants us to work on overcoming fear with Jesus, his son, who died for us for just this reason.
Just like I want my child to understand.
And imagine…God loves us a million times more than we ever love our own children.
Crazy, isn’t it?
Philippians 4: 6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
What are some things you do when you or your child struggle with fear, anxiety, or worry?