The Antonym of Fear

3 Nov

Two nights ago we babysat two girls, 3 years old and 18 months.  Our own children were in their own homes and abode so putting them in bed was as routine as possible.  Not so for our guests.  It was time to put the 18 month old in her pack and play.  I found the greatest teddy bear we had, gathered the softest blanky I could find and sang the greatest Jesus song I knew.  With my fingers crossed and my hopes high I laid the baby girl down and anxiously waited to see how “at home” she would feel in this temporary dwelling place.  Her eyes frantically paced the room, her bottom lip began to curl, she rose up faster than bread coming out of a toaster and began to scream with the utmost fear in her being.  With her arms stretched out and her eyes perfectly fixed on mine she screamed for someone to rescue her from this dreaded pit of a pack and play.

 

I saw so much of myself in that little girl in that moment.  Instantly I thought about seasons of my life where we battled uncertainty, lack of clarity, financial questions, miscarriage, sickness, relationship struggles, tragedy…all emotions and experiences rooted in fear and desperation for some type of intervention to happen.  I not only see it in myself but rather in the people with whom I am in conversation with every day.  Churches are afraid of the economy, organizations are afraid of even more budget cuts, non-profits are afraid that people won’t give, mortgage companies are afraid that home owners won’t pay, businesses are afraid that others won’t partner, families are afraid their current scenario won’t make it, leaders are afraid people won’t sign up, politicians are afraid that the community won’t vote, companies are afraid that employees might leave…there is fear on every corner in these days.

 

And yet when I looked into this scared girls eyes, she began to scream something I’ll never forget, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”  I am not her daddy but yet for that moment I was the only hope she had.  And being a father myself, the very nature of fatherhood rose up inside of me.  I was consumed with the desire for her to know that I was near.  I urgently wanted her to know that as long as I was in the room she was ok.  When I heard her scream for daddy I moved towards her as fast as I could to hold her, to breathe courage into her and more than anything to love her through her moment of fear.  Our Abba invites His people to the same today.  I’m convinced of it.  I’m convinced the enemy wins when God’s people are consumed with fear.  I’m convinced that while we sometimes feel lonely that God’s promise today is that we are never alone.  I’m convinced that if Abba’s people will cry out “Daddy!” that in an instant they know the intimacy of the arms that hold them.

 

What are you afraid of?  What name are you crying?

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