Adelade brought home a paper she had written at school. It started this way:
My heroes are my Mama and Daddy. I have known them since I was a tiny baby.
She went on to talk about her dad being a pastor and me staying at home, about how we all live together. And, then came the sentence that stopped me in my tracks. It froze me on the inside. She wrote:
They are never scared.
And, there it was. In all of its carefully printed glory. An untruth about me that my child believes with all of her heart. A non-reality that she has been convinced of because of calm talk and joking and deliberately slowed breathing and my demands that my heart stop pounding out of my chest when we are in scary situations. I have tried to stay steady when I am so very unsteady because I don’t want my children to worry. I don’t want them to be afraid of things the way I often am. I want them to be strong and rock-like and unmoved by the shifting sands and terrifying circumstances that characterize the world in which we live.
But, that is too much to ask.
Because this world, this life, is scary. And, as my children grow older they will begin to understand even though I looked non-chalant while I was hurrying them into the car to rush to the church basement before a bad storm hit, I was actually frantic. They’ll realize that when I look up in a store and can’t see one of them for a split second, I die a tiny death inside until I lay eyes on them again. They’ll soon learn that mamas and daddies and policemen and teachers and all of the other people in their lives who seem so unshaken are actually more than shaken. They’re shaking. Quaking. Trembling. Over this life. The uncertainty, the tragedy all around. The pain. The fear of what could happen.
Some of us are more afraid than others. But, we all fear something.
If you are fearful today, there is hope.
When we tremble, when we get weak-kneed and we feel just how far from strong we really are, we can fall into this truth:
Do you know what the opposite of fear is? It’s peace. And, Jesus tells us that He gives us peace as a gift.
But, here you are, filled with fear, and you see no gift of peace heading your way anytime soon. Well, if you are fearful you aren’t alone. So was David. So was Abraham. So was Moses. And, these men are hailed as great examples of faith. We see them being used to accomplish great things for God, even in the midst of their incredible fear.
The truth is that even when the fear is real and it feels like we will drown in it, we won’t. His peace keeps us afloat.
I know someday that Adelade will learn the truth, that I am just as fearful as the next person. But, I hope that she also sees glimpses of that peace from God that keeps fearful followers’ heads above water.
May His peace rest on you today.