I'm afraid, daddy.” My eight-year-old daughter started her nightly ritual sharing her fear to go to sleep alone in her room. She talked of hearing noises outside. She didn’t like the dark and worried that mom and dad were too far down the hall to rescue her if she needed it.
I tried, seemingly in vain, to encourage Marci that she was going to be all right. I shared that most of the noises had good explanations: A tree groaning in the wind; a branch of a bush rubbing up against the house; a cat calling another cat or deciding to defend its territory.
Then I pulled out the big guns. I talked about how Jesus was there with her. All she had to do was call out to Jesus and He’d be with her. He promised to never leave us alone. That ought to do it, I thought.
It seemed to help. I prayed with Marci and she went to bed.
Jesus understands that we get afraid in life. Otherwise why would he often tell His disciples to not be afraid? Remember when they saw Him walking on water in the dead of night? They thought He was a ghost. They cried out to God to rescue them. Jesus called to them: Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid" (Matthew 14:27).
Letting Go of Our Fears
There are many stories in the Word that tell us that it is very human to be afraid, but God desires for us to let go of our fears and trust in Him.
Marci was trying to trust in Jesus that night. She woke up and felt afraid again. She remembered that her daddy told her to pray to Jesus. So she did.
Then it happened. She shared with me the next morning that an bright being came to her room and filled her doorway. She just knew it was an angel. Its presence filled her with peace and enabled her to go to sleep trusting that God was with her.
She has never forgot that night. Neither have I. I was so honored that my God thought enough of my scared little girl to do something extraordinary to give her peace.
He still does for me all the time. I get myself all worked up and worried. I get afraid about all the pressures of life. I lose perspective too often. Then I’m reminded that Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). When I finally do come to Him and ask for His help, I find peace. I’m no longer afraid.
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