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I know it’s not real.

I know it’s just fake.

But still, it startles me nearly every time I catch a glimpse of it in our basement.

And I don’t startle easily. (I run a daycare, after all!) 🙂

We “acquired” it when my boys and I traveled a few states away to spend Christmas with my parents. My aunt agreed to cat-sit our two cats, stopping by every couple days to feed and check on them. She decided they needed a new toy.

When we arrived home, we found a VERY life-like toy mouse in the basement. It’s small—just a bit of fur, a bit of tail, with a convincing squeak whenever it’s moved.

Or jostled with the side of your foot while carrying a basket of laundry through the basement.

That silly toy has startled me so many times—and I’m not even afraid of mice!

Even though I know there’s nothing to be afraid of, I still experience a jolt of surprise and an increased heart rate until I realize what it is.

It can be the same with fears we face in our lives.

They can cause us to panic unless we stop and consider the situation.

This happened my first summer at my little daycare. Most of you know my story, but here’s a quick recap if you’re new to my blog:

Four and a half years ago, my three sons and I moved back to the States from Australia, after a devastating time in our lives. I started completely over as a single mom, with no job, no house, and very little in my bank account.

God is faithful, and He carried us through that difficult time. He provided the means to buy my daycare, a house for us to live in, and a reliable vehicle. One by one, our needs were met. Even still, I struggled with the fear that I would fail my sons and not be able to provide everything they needed.

So that first summer when I began to experience a strange sickness, I panicked. During the day, I felt relatively healthy. But at night, my temperature soared and my body ached. I tossed and turned, drenched in sweat, worrying about how I would work the next day.

One panicked thought led to another—

I’m not going to be able to work tomorrow! How can I possibly take care of kids when I feel like this? 

This has been going on for more than a week! What if I can’t work for several more weeks?

All my daycare parents will pull their children out of my care. 

With no clients, I won’t be able to keep up mortgage payments on the daycare. 

I’ll lose my business!

And our house! 

We’re going to lose everything! I don’t want my kids to be homeless! 

On and on the thoughts raced. All from a fever and some aches and pains.

Were any of those fears merited?

No, not really. Not when I looked at them logically.

But in those moments, the fears overtook me.

My fear grew into a mountain of panic because I neglected to focus on God and His provision in the past.

I let my fear block out my faith in God.

All turned out well in the end. My mom (she’s the best nurse in the world!) figured out the symptoms were due to a tick bite, and within hours of receiving the proper antibiotic, I began to feel better. I didn’t miss any more work, lose my daycare or house, or become homeless. 🙂

But I learned an important lesson: It’s all too easy to let fear get the best of you. 

My friend, what are you afraid of today?

What is causing you to lose sight of your Almighty God and focus instead on the problems in your life?

I encourage you to try this little exercise:

Grab a sheet of paper and write down your fears—everything you fear might happen in the situation you face.

Then look up verses of Scripture that show the power of God. Study how He parted the Red Sea, vanquished mighty armies, and collapsed the walls of Jericho. Meditate on how He closed the mouths of lions for Daniel and kept Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego safe in the roaring flames.

Now look back at your list of fears.

Do you think your God can handle them?

He can! There’s nothing on earth that can stand against the power of our God. He will see you safely through.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 41:11)