I remember getting scared of the dark as a little girl. I'd call for my mom, and she'd come and sing a little song based on Philippians 4:8. She hates for anyone to hear her voice, but to me it was the sweetest comfort.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8Now I have my own little girl who is occasionally scared of the dark and what's hidden in her closet (especially after a little too much Nancy Drew).
And now I'm all grown up with grown-up fears of my own. What do you do with your fears as an adult when you can't call your mama to come sing over you? Where do you go?
Our baby had the croup a few weeks ago and had that awful barky cough late at night. I lay in bed listening to him trying unsuccessfully to sleep and I began to feel overwhelmed with fearful thoughts. All kinds of things ran through my head and all of a sudden, I was near panic (I've never had a panic attack, but I can begin to imagine it). I had to ask my husband to pray for me.
These fears often grip me. They're mostly about bad things happening to my children, played out in horrid detail in my mind until be body reacts to the fear that feels so real. Some of us live in this constant state of fear of things that might just happen.
Friends, can I tell you that we weren't made to live in such a state of fear? Jesus would have us controlled only by His Spirit and nothing else.
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1I've been praying this simple prayer when fears assault:
Jesus, forgive me for thinking about things that are not true. Help me think about things that are true right now.Not:
What if the baby stops breathing?
Will the ambulance get here fast enough?
Will I have to call and wake up the doctor?
How would I live without my son?
Yes, the baby is coughing.
He is still breathing.
God's hand is on his life.
God knows the number of his days.
God will help us know what to do to take care of our son.
This prayer is helping me bring my thoughts under Jesus' control. I also pray that God would alert me if there is a real danger and give me a sense if there is something I do need to be alerted to. This has especially helped when my children are sick.
I share these truths with my little girl as I help her bring her fears to Jesus. I can't promise her (or you) that nothing bad will happen. I can only promise her that God will never leave her or forsake her, even if something bad does happen. I teach her about the Holy Spirit who lives in her because she trusts in Jesus.
"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 31:6These are the words the ailing Moses spoke to the Israelites as they stood on the brink of the promised land once again (after failing to have the courage to take it the first time they were led there). He points them to the "God-ness" of their God, his sovereignty over all things big and scary.
I made this verse into a coloring page for you or for you to share with your kiddos (especially the afraid-of-the-dark ones). Click here to download the file (usage below*).
What are you doing with your fears today?
Other posts on worry/anxiety:
Confessions of a sleep-deprived worrier
No room for fear
Pushing back the chaos
*My coloring pages are free for your personal use. Please don't repost the actual file, but feel free to link to this page! Any other uses, please ask!