Fear can creep into your life in many different ways, and at various times. Fear is no respecter of schedules or to do lists. There is no isolated circumstance that brings fear. You can be in the midst of huge life change, or simply in a quiet stage of life, and out of know where fear of the unknown, or bugs, or injuries can invade you.
As I was praying about some of my fear of the next few months, I felt this verse come to my mind.
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Instantly I started telling myself to stop being a wimp, and to be courageous, and that God was commanding me. I was getting down on myself for being afraid, because I was breaking a commandment from the Lord.
But the Lord gently corrected me and provided a picture for me to understand.
The last few months, Caleb has been waking up in the night panic screaming. He is just wailing at the top of his lungs, sounding absolutely terrified. It freaks me out every time, and all I do is go in and say essentially this;
“It’s ok, Mommy is here. Don’t be afraid, it’s ok. You’re ok, don’t worry, honey. Mama’s here, and daddy’s here, and Jesus is here too.”
My heart in that moment is moved with deep compassion for him because I KNOW that everything is ok and he doesn’t need to fear anything. I know he’s needlessly panicking. After that reassurance he usually drifts back to sleep for the night.
I am not going in and telling him harshly to stop being afraid, and telling him that he is disobeying me in his fear.
My heart is soft toward him, and my love for him seems to overflow in that moment, longing to assure him that everything is all right.
That is what the Lord is saying to me. I struggle with relating the Father to a loving and caring God. I often think he’s upset with me. So when I felt that verse come to my heart, my reaction was “ahh I need to stop being afraid because the Lord’s upset with me for unnecessarily stressing out.”
But this is not true.
The Father, as a loving parent, is rushing in to my darkness and gently saying, it’s ok daughter. Don’t be afraid. It’s ok. You’re going to be all right. You don’t need to be afraid. I’m here. I’m greater. I love you.
I’m not in trouble for being afraid, the Lord’s heart just breaks for me because he knows it’s unnecessary.
I can easily drift back to sleep with those kinds of words be whispered to me.