“Careful, be careful,” I hear her tell her imaginary friend through the bedroom door. And I wince. Those words are exactly the opposite of the brave spirit I want to instill in her.
Before Reagan was born I determined I wanted to raise her to be brave and adventurous with a curiosity to see and learn without fear. I wanted to give her the opportunity to try things, to succeed and to fail. And within reason, the space to get hurt. Rather than telling her to be careful I would be more descriptive in helping her learn to be wise and observant to what’s around her, or so I planned. Now I find myself telling her to be careful regularly – when she jumps off the ottoman or carries her stool in to the kitchen. “Be careful, Reagan,” as she scales her changing table.
Yet, in spite of sometimes getting in the way of my own plans, Reagan is a brave and inquisitive 2-year-old. I pray I can find ways to nurture these characteristics throughout her growing up years. I’m not sure I’m always the best example.
Stories from around the world of terror and atrocity plague the news, even my local stations are full of horrific tales of children being hurt and people killed through violent actions. Sadly, this isn’t a new phenomenon but as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Savior who came to offer a better way it seems particularly sad and scary. And makes me fearful.
I’m often tempted to sell our house and move to a rural acreage where we can hide away from the troubles of the world, be self-sufficient and secure. Sometimes it even feels like wisdom.
But then I am reminded of the reason Christ came. Yes, it was to have relationship with me and you … but it doesn’t end there. Now that we have entered into relationship with Christ, we are charged with sharing that relationship – that love – with those around us. We are called to be a balm to this broken and hurting world. That’s a little hard to do from a remote, nondescript acreage, right? It’s also hard to do when we are crippled with fear.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
Time and time again, we are called to be brave in the Bible. It seems like God knows us pretty well, and knew how tempted we’d be to fear.Life is full of situations that can induce fear. God calls us to be brave.Click To Tweet
We are called to Fear Not, but not just fear not. Can you imagine if I told my toddler, when she sees something scary in the grocery store or wakes up from a nightmare, “Just don’t be scared.” That wouldn’t work very well for helping to relieve her fears. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us with just fear not either.
Instead, in the midst of these scary times when you can hardly turn on the TV without hearing about another tragedy, He tells us that He is with us always and that He will give us the strength we need to face today and the next day and the next. It’s through His power that I can choose to stand my ground against fear and evil and anything else the Devil throws this way. God is bigger.
While some days fear may still get the best of me, I know the One I can turn to in those moments. And you know what, that’s a pretty good example to set for my daughter.