My daughter, Grace, is five years old and is terrified of the dark. It is an every night battle. Yesterday, at bedtime, I told her that if she woke up in the middle of the night scared to first pray before she called out to us. Around 2 a.m. she called “Daddy!”. This morning she informed me that she prayed three times, but then she was just too scared and she needed her dad.
Sometimes we are just like that. We pray, pray, and pray and then we jump to try to fix the situation. We should patiently wait for God to answer, but the fear just seems too urgent. Fear is one of those things that we have to work through, especially the irrational ones. Fear can cripple us from being useful or effective for the Lord. We can be so paralyzed by it that we don’t even try to do what He has called us to do.
The next time fear traps you, look up various verses in your concordance (in the back of your Bible) and read through some. Then follow that by remembering Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
One more Grace story before I wrap things up. We arrived back from the beach a few days ago with two new pets. The Hermit Crabs, Mrs. Price and Thomas, are now beloved members of the family. Grace once again got scared in the middle of the night and climbed in bed with us. I slept through that, but then at 5:45 a.m. I awoke with a fright of my own. I heard scratching noises that sort of sounded like someone playing with the blinds. I got up as quietly as possible. I would have awoken Hayden, my husband, but he had already begun playing musical beds and was in Grace’s room. I stood by our bedroom door until I was sure that the noise I heard could not be my son, Coleman, or Hayden.
Fear overwhelmed me. I thought I have two options: I can go out there and tackle the guy with my can of hairspray or I can shut the door and call the police. I chose the second. I shut the door and locked it. I sat on my bed, about to reach for the phone, when I thought I really should stop and pray about this. So my prayer went something like this. “Lord, do I need to call the cops or not?” I thought he said “no” when the den light flipped on and my son turned on some cartoons. I went out, hugged him, and got down to the business of figuring out that sound. I begin asking him question after question.
“When did you get up?”
“You haven’t been up longer?”
Just about that time the scratching sound starts up again. It is coming from the kitchen. I turn the light on to see Thomas clawing at the plastic cage. Oh how silly I felt. Fear had definitely gotten the best of me. But, I was so very relieved that it was just the hermit crab, that I had not called the police and woken the neighborhood with the sirens. I guess if I had called they would have had a funny story to tell.