This morning my son woke up earlier than usual. Stumbling into our room half asleep saying, “Is it morning yet?” With it being a little too early I let him crawl in bed and fall back asleep in my arms but I myself remained awake. As I laid there I thought to myself, “I’d like to get up and get started on the day but if I move he will wake up.” As my little six year old lay there fast asleep in my arms little does he know that something terrible really did happen yesterday a High School in Florida. Little does he know that Fathers and Mothers last night did NOT sleep because they’re still trying to grapple with the reality that there once-six-year-old is gone. Moms and Dads now just left with the memories of their children because a lone gunman decided to carry out an atrocious act of wickedness.
There was a time in my life where this event would have spiritually paralyzed me with anxiety. There was a time in my life where honestly, after an event like this, I probably would have avoided leaving my home at all costs.
How do I wake up and still send my son to the public school? How can I have peace in such a troubled world? In time and by God’s grace I had to learn to enjoy God and my relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. Here is a couple things among MANY I learned:
There is only one way to conquer the fear of death and that is to know, trust, and love someone who is more powerful than it- Jesus! It would be hard to trust God (ok, impossible) if he were like a distant Father who really is just concerned that His kids zip it and get their act together. Ah! Not my God. He cares about me in every moment just as He cares for every sparrow that falls to the ground! He is not out to get me but has covered this poor wretched sinner with His love through Christ. I am no different than my son. God has allowed me thousands of times to stumble into His presence asking, “Is it morning yet? Can I just stay with you?”
I was created to find my greatest joy in acknowledging my DEPENDENCE. Fear and anxiety are most often an expression of a deep desire to have something that only belongs to God; namely, TO BE IN CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE. Think about it, if you were God what do you have to be afraid about? Nothing. Since we intuitively know we can’t stop bad from happening, the only thing we can do is ramp our mind up in anxiety or trust in someone who has the control we so often long for.
I had to acknowledge and repent of my idolatrous love for control.
With the Spirit’s help and in the greatest fight of my life, I had to pry one finger at a time off my obsessive desire to know all the bad that could ever happen to me and my loved ones. I had to fight to depend on the God of heaven who could get me through it IF something happens. Perhaps you’re like me and for too long you’ve refused to see anxiety for what it really is. It’s a hard truth to acknowledge but in it you will find freedom in actually NOT being in control. You and I cannot bear that burden and were never designed to.
5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah