Every year I update my CPR certification. I’ve never had to use it, but I nearly had a 4-year-old suffer a heart attack this week. (Not really, but you’ll see what I mean in a minute.)
For those of you new to my blog, let me explain my day job to you. I own a home daycare, which means I’m licensed to provide daycare to ten children by myself, five days a week, ten hours a day. (Yep, that’s as fun as it sounds.)
Anyway…we were finishing lunch, and I sent Elizabeth (not her real name) off to the bathroom to clean up. She’s one of my older kids and can handle dispensing soap and using the faucet without recreating a scene from the Titanic, so I trust her in the bathroom by herself.
Just a few minutes later, I heard her screaming and banging on the bathroom door. It only took a few moments for me to reach her, but by that time, she was shaking. I could feel her little heart pounding as I hugged her.
“There’s a bug in the sink and it’s going to crumble your house!” The girl was truly terrified.
Baffled, I looked in the sink. There was a TINY ant. And it was dead. Surely she wasn’t scared of a dead ant?
I helped her finish washing her hands, tucked her in bed, and wondered what had unsettled her. I found out a few minutes later, when my daycare “duties” required that I wash my own hands.
As I turned on the faucet, the drain sucked and gurgled and sounded like the bathroom WAS going to crumble down around me.
Great, time to call the septic guy…
But I had discovered what had scared Elizabeth so badly. She knew nothing of septic tanks and pipes gurgling. She saw a little ant, heard a very scary noise, and was certain a huge bug monster was about to descend upon our daycare.
What she saw and what she heard caused her to fear the unknown.
And so it us with us…what we see and what we hear can cause us to fear what is unknown.
Seeing an unexpected bill in the mail.
Hearing the doctor’s diagnosis.
Seeing relationships crumble.
Hearing words we never wanted to hear.
Seeing unrest and turmoil sweep across our country.
It’s all more than a little unsettling–it’s downright fearful. And if we’re not careful, we can let fear of the unknown paralyze us.
Have you ever considered what God’s people, the Israelites, saw and heard as they stood at the edge of the Red Sea? They had just escaped slavery in Egypt when God poured out plagues upon the Egyptians. Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go, but after God destroyed the land, he practically pushed the Israelites out of Egypt.
However, it didn’t take long for the king of Egypt to regret his decision to part with his free labor force. He took his army and pursued after Israel, catching up with them at the Red Sea.
The Israelites saw Pharaoh’s army bearing down upon them, a mighty fighting force with weapons glinting in the sun.
They heard chariot wheels rumbling and horse hoofs thundering upon the ground.
They saw themselves being dragged back to Egypt and heard the cries of their taskmasters once again.
What they didn’t know–what they couldn’t see yet–was that God would deliver them and bring ultimate destruction to their enemies. He would part the waters of the sea and they would walk across on dry ground. The Egyptian army would follow, and God would bring the waters crashing together. The mighty army–the army that they feared so much–would be helpless against God’s hand.
Deliverance was coming, but they couldn’t see it yet.
Friend, don’t let the things of this life–the things you see and hear in this world–cause you to doubt the power, protection, and love of our Almighty God. When you are fearful of the unknown, look up.
Look up to the God who loves you.
The God who provides for you.
The God who protects you.
The God who will never, ever leave you.
When you are overcome with fear, block out the things you see and hear which are causing you doubt, and hold on to what you know.
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, has not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:9-10
“And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Psalm 50:15