“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
Most of us have cared for young children. Maybe you have cared for one with strong fears. I can tell you from experience it can be tough for both the child and the parents. Children naturally lean to us when they are fearful. We have spent many days holding our children’s hands through blood draws, tests, surgeries, loss, or the anxiety of watching others suffer. Each time they reach out their hand for reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Often times they don’t want to let go and tears flow. The grip of a young child in fear is one that pulls at the heart. We want nothing more than to show them everything will be okay. God wants to do the same for them and for us too.
As adults our fears are far more reaching that just our children’s health. Many of us fear the ramifications of day to day decisions like moving, finances, jobs, stress, relationships, ect. We need His help to overcome our own fears. Just like our sweet children run to us, we should run to God. But how many times do we really remember that He is there holding out His hand to us. How many of us try to take our hand away and hold onto that fear? We try to maintain control of a situation, thus holding onto the fear that goes with it. That fear can leave us feeling alone, empty, and our life at a standstill. It can blind us to the path God has in front of us. All too often it causes us to focus on the bad instead of seeing any good in our situation. When we hold onto fear, our children see that and they learn to do the same.
Chris and I have lived through the biggest fear of any parent. Our daughter, Clara, passed away from SIDS in 2009. Shortly after Clara’s passing we found out I was pregnant. After a healthy pregnancy Lincoln was born with what was classified as a “cosmetic birth defect”. Five months later we would learn differently. As the doctor listed off issues they found on the MRI our heads spun and our hearts ached. Nothing had prepared us for the fear that gripped us. When our older boys came to us in fear of losing another sibling, we held their hands. We questioned how we were to comfort them when we ourselves needed relief from fear? We soon realized it was an opportunity to show our children how we rely on our Father for comfort from our fears just like they rely on us.
This week I challenge you to look at how you react when you are fearful. Are you holding your Father’s hand like your children hold yours or do you pull it away? Are you taking opportunities to show your children that you seek God’s help with fears, just like they seek yours? Take time to share a fear with your children and show them how you hold God’s hand. Through facing fears together as a family you will see a change in your children as well. They will learn to not only hold your hand but God’s hand too. It is a gift that will forever change them.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.” Psalm 56:3