"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You."
This verse has been used numerous times by loving parents trying to comfort their children. Being a father of four children, I know all about the fears of little ones. Our youngest, Jordan, is one of those little guys who has his own set of fears. For years he was very afraid of swimming. He didn't mind the water, but he did not like the helpless feeling of floating in it. He would hang on to the ladder of our pool for dear life. Today, that fear has been conquered, and he swims like a fish. Recently a large dog in our neighborhood chased him down the street, so you can now add that to his list of fears as well. He's afraid to go to the mailbox by himself now, because he just knows at any moment that dog is coming. The one fear that he shares with many other children is the dark. I have tried every thing possible to get him to see that there is nothing to be afraid of, but he's not buying it. He won't even walk into a dark room to turn on the light switch. You always know when Jordan went to the back of the house by himself, because the whole house is lit up like a Christmas tree. One day I took him into his room when it was completely dark and held his hand. I explained to him that although he couldn't see any thing that there was nothing in there that was going to hurt him. I am pretty sure that he didn't believe me. So, I told him to watch as I turned on the light. When the light came on, everything was as it should be and completely safe. I explained to him that even if we can't see what is around us there is no need to fear what does not exist.
That is a pretty good lesson for all of us "big kids" too. Let's be honest. Every one of us has fears that rival Jordan's. Perhaps it is not the dark, or water, or big dogs (okay, some of us have that one), but we all have some anxieties that shake us to our very core. Some of you fear that you will not be a successful parent. Others fear that they have made wrong career decisions and are wasting their lives. Many couples see the rampant rise of divorce in our society and worry about the stability of their own marriage. After thinking of all of that, most of us would trade being afraid of the dark any day over those things. Many of these fears have to be confronted face to face.
I remember going into that dark room with Jordan and holding onto him. I noticed that as long as he was with me that he could face the darkness. Somehow in his mind I was more powerful than any thing that the darkness had in store for him. Think about that for just a second. Isn't that what the psalmist was saying in this verse? We will all face fears, but we do not have to ever face them alone. Whenever we stand in the darkness of our fears, all that we need to do is reach out and take hold of the hand of God. When I have Him by my side, I know that He is more powerful than any thing that the darkness has in store for me. He did not put a spirit of fear in me. No, with Him as my confidence I am able to have a spirit of power that shines light on any amount of darkness. We are all going to be afraid at times, but these moments are the greatest opportunities for us to demonstrate complete trust in God.
May you stand face to face with darkness holding onto God today!