Out of the Mouths of Babes

What do you fear? In my Sunday school class this week we pondered the same question. What makes us afraid? Each of us comes from our own set of experiences, and therefore we form our own fears. As children we probably have more fears than as adults. I recently saw a photo of my friend and her two-year-old Lauren. Lauren was latched on to mommy, crying because she was afraid to ice skate. As children many of us rely on our parents to comfort us during scary times, but as adults we tend to depend on ourselves. Did you realize your independence in times of fear can actually be a sin?

God wants us to rely on Him for our strength. Our basis for our Sunday school lesson on “finding God when we are afraid” was 1 Kings 19:1-17. In this scripture Elijah gets word that Queen Jezebel is going to have him killed, so he flees and hides in a cave. Sound familiar? This is happening now! Christians are being killed right now! How will you respond when standing in the face of fear? Will you run and hide like Elijah?

During our prayer time in my Sunday School class I ask the kids to quickly share what they are going to pray for. We first praise God for who he is, ask God to intercede, confess what we have done, and finally we thank God for his blessings. Adding this prayer practice has really made the class blossom from buddies to accountability partners. One student has been asking God to help his baby teeth to fall out on their own. He has been persistent and faithful in asking, but it didn’t happen. He had to go to the dentist to have the teeth extracted. In the past when he underwent the same procedure he was full of fear the whole drive there. Seeing that either his teeth fell out or they were extracted before last Sunday, I asked him how it went. He explained that he had to go to the dentist for the extraction. I inquired if it had effected his faith in God now that it seemed God maybe didn’t answer his prayer. His answer was amazing. He said something to the effect of, “I felt peace.” He went on to explain that the rest was horrible (the procedure and recovery), but he didn’t place any blame on God that his teeth didn’t fall out naturally. He knew God was with him when he felt complete peace on the way to the dentist, and that was enough for him to keep believing.

This week I thank God that He is a peacemaker. He knows our fears and our doubts. He hears our every prayer, and just when we think He doesn’t care He shows up and gives us peace. As a parent comforts their crying baby, how much more will God comfort you? In our times of crisis, even in times when we must choose denying God or dying for our beliefs, may we be strengthened by God’s comfort and peace.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know what’s on your mind.

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3 thoughts on “Out of the Mouths of Babes

  1. Marlin

    Thanks for your sharing. After reading your blog, I got another email about fear from Winnis Chiang, a MFT. I like to share to shed light on the fears we face in relationship.

    10 Fears That Ruin Relationships

    Loving someone is risky business, so it’s natural that fear is present in relationships. But when fear operates in our life in a way that hurts us or hurts others—through aggression or withdrawal—it becomes a problem. Recognizing these fears and how they affect our life can help us make the necessary changes to get the love we want.

    1. Fear of losing freedom. Tied down, trapped, cornered, stuck—this “claustrophobia” points to mistaken beliefs about what relationships are supposed to be. The ability to say No in a loving and respectful way, and to set clear and fair boundaries, is an essential ingredient of a healthy relationship.

    2. Fear of conflict. Let’s face it—love can be messy. But it doesn’t have to be destructive. Constructive communication skills can be learned. When handled with caring and respectful communication, conflicts can become vital building blocks of deeper trust and intimacy.

    3. Fear of change. Change means work, discomfort and uncertainty. But oh, the rewards of growth and depth and renewal! Try being curious about the changes in you, your partner and your relationship. Apply this to your children, parents, siblings, and other people you care about!

    4. Fear of giving up or losing control. We don’t have to surrender personal power in a healthy relationship. In fact, in a healthy relationship both partners feel equal while each maintains their uniqueness. If it is a choice between being in control and experiencing true love, which will you choose?

    5. Fear of pain. It is not love that creates pain, but our attachments and expectations about what love and relationships, and the behavior of those we love, are supposed to look like. Ultimately, we must decide whether we trust fear or trust love—which of those are we going to “feed?”

    6. Fear of being “found out.” When we hide our true self from those we love, we’re usually afraid that our true self is unlovable. The fear of being found out is the fear of being fully known. When we accept that no one is “perfect,” we can open to the marvelous adventure of being deeply known by another and truly getting to know our beloved.

    7. Fear of losing self. Often this comes from watching others (parent, friend, relative) suppress their individuality in relationship. The generous giving of oneself—our time, attention, caring and skills—is vital to the success of a relationship, but equally important is to be able to receive from your loved one what they wish to give you. Giving up your needs for your partner is not a loving act, for it means there is less of you present in the relationship.

    8. Fear of not being enough. When we fear our own inadequacy, we often expect perfection in our partners. So we use this expectation as a defense against those feelings of inadequacy. We have the choice of taking the risk to love and be loved, or be alone, feeling separate, with our story of inadequacy. Try changing that story to the true one: that you are a unique, magnificent and lovable being.

    9. Fear of rejection. To avoid being rejected, we may push other people away, testing their love, or abandoning them before we ourselves are abandoned—and thereby making our beliefs a reality. Or to avoid being rejected, we may become pleasers, taking our authentic needs and desires out of the equation. Either way, we are not fully committed to being authentically present in the relationship.

    10. Fear of dependency. Some people worry about losing the ability to take care of themselves, and others worry about being responsible for their loved one. Neither option creates a fulfilling relationship. To avoid those situations and create a healthy interdependency, stay aware of the boundaries between you and your loved one, and remember that, while you are supportive of each other, you are each responsible for your own feelings and well-being.

    Loving someone is risky. The Bible tells us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

    We have conflicts in relationships because each of us thinks, “I am right! He/she is wrong!” But what is the truth?

    “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6, NIV)
    Marlin
    Matthew 6:33

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