Friday, April 26, 2013

When Worry & Fear Can't Be Avoided

When I am afraid, O Lord Almighty,
    I put my trust in you. 
I trust in God and am not afraid;
    I praise him for what he has promised...
~ Psalm 56:3-4, GNT ~ 

There are times when worry and fear are as natural to every parent as breathing.  As God made us the caretakers and guardians of our precious children, he wired us to know our sons and daughters best, instinctually discerning when there is reason for concern.  The vast majority of mothers and fathers do not take their role lightly.  So when a medical emergency occurs, it is almost reflex to feel alarmed and anxious about the well-being of our child.  The primitive "fight or flight" responses seem to naturally kick into full gear.

At the same time, we know that the words "fear not" or "do not be afraid" are are the most commanded words in the Bible.  Since the time of Abram, we see the Lord calming and comforting with these words of instruction and reassurance.  In situations ranging from His appearance or an angel visit to an individual, to the dark hours surrounding Jesus death, the words "do not be afraid" resound.

So what do we do when our emotions are overcoming us and our natural instincts think they can rule the day?  To be certain, it is challenging to fall into the calm of Jesus' arms when our child is going into an emergency surgery, there are mix-ups in their medical protocol, or death appears imminent.  The good news is that God knows our frail state at those times.  Christ himself experienced nothing less in the Garden of Gethsemane, so his understanding for us is very real.

How graciously God breathes life into our reality with His word!  Training our brains to remember Scripture is the ultimate way to survive our most serious worries.  The Scripture passage above is one I took to remembering 20 years ago when I was experiencing multiple miscarriages.  Note that the psalmist doesn't say "if" but "when" in describing fear's arrival.  He then states that the action he takes when that worry arrives is to put his trust in the Lord Almighty.  Knowing that God has the power and wisdom to handle the situation, trusting the Lord's sovereignty, eventually wrestles control of our emotions away from those primitive instincts.  We can experience a peace that transcends our circumstances.

In other words, we give supremacy to our logic rather than our emotions at times of great danger.  Getting to know the Lord's promises and his character during the calmer, average days of our lives equips us for life's crises.  This way, even when we don't feel like everything will be alright, we know that we can still trust God because of the truth we have allowed him to tuck away in our brains.

Such truth can be found in promises like Romans 8:35, 37-38, "Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death?  ...In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!"  (CEV)

Worries and fears are inevitable in parenting a child with special needs.  Will troubles get resolved with the school?  What will the future hold once this struggling munchkin leaves home?  What if the doctors can't resolve this health crisis?  These questions are overwhelming.  Yet, none of these things are too difficult for the Maker of the Universe to handle.  Only bathing our brains in His blessed reassurance will turn these inevitable concerns and turn them into an unusual peace.

PRAY:  Thank You, Lord that you offer me calm and comfort in exchange for all my parental anxieties.  Holy Spirit bring to mind your precious promises when I find myself afraid.

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