Sunday, December 16, 2012

When I am Afraid, I will Trust in God

I belong to a small group of very young mothers. We meet monthly to support and encourage each other and study the Scriptures with a desire to raise godly offspring. At our last meeting, we viewed and discussed a DVD on fear-based parenting. We admitted to being afraid in ways we were not before becoming parents. Parents worry about their children. From in vitro, to infants, toddlers, young-schoolers, teens and beyond, we concern ourselves with the safety, well-being and sometimes even the happiness of our children. 
We agreed that being a parent can make you a coward in some ways. Many will quiet the idealist zeal of their youth and begin making decisions for the contentment and protection of their children – protection from both real and imagined dangers. The group said all these things, ate animal crackers, drank fruit juice, emphasized the importance of giving our children to the Lord and left agreeing to make decisions inspired ultimately by God’s glory and rather than our parental fears.

All this took place on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Six days later, on Friday December 14, 2012, a lone gunman entered a school packed with young children with the intent to kill. And he did. His horrific rampage ended with the lives of 26 people, 20 of them children ages 5 through 10. I heard the news and felt many emotions – some were distinct, others were difficult to sort out, fear was among them.

I’m certain that my fear was not uncommon. Many parents thought of “what if” possibilities while at the same time trying not to think of “what if” possibilities and fear slipped in somewhere in between – it slipped in appearing almost justifiable in light of the immensity of the massacre.

So what do we do with these feelings? And what should I do with Saturday, December 8th in the ghastly face of Friday, December 14th? Should I let the terror of the 14th swallow up the affirmations made on the 8th? Does the magnitude of the horror validate the fears? Is it right to ignore (at least for a while) the truth that guided my decision against parental fear just six days before?

I believe that moments like this – shocking and circumstantial moments that stir strong emotions and passions – come as tests and as opportunities. They test how highly we value Scripture and present opportunities for us to check our emotions against God’s word. We either chose to justify and indulge the feelings or deliberately believe the truth in spite of the moment.

And so fully aware of the reality of Friday December 14, 2012 – the reality of darkness, sin and innate depravity that reveals itself in the murder of children – I’m choosing to cling to the truth shared on Saturday, December 8, 2012. I will once again give my child to the Lord, because she is His in the first place, and will pray for the grace to make parenting decisions inspired ultimately by His glory and not by my fears. I know of course that this decision will not immediately and automatically overcome my fears once and for all. And so “When I am (once more) afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. (In the end), What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm  56:3-4).  

May the LORD help the parents grieving the loss of their children today!


  1. This is a great post, thank you for sharing this encouraging word with us.

    I shared your post in part with a link back to you here:

  2. Thanks so much Greg! I'm encouraged by your response. Thanks again!