A “Child’s” Anxieties
School started a few days ago, and there was an air of both excitement and apprehension in my home. My 9-year-old was the excited one, eager to get back to friends, fun, and a familiar routine. My daughter, however, was not feeling so thrilled. When I went to her room to tuck her in the night before school started, I saw her tiny little lip start to quiver and then the tears rolled freely. She was moving from her small kindergarten school building to the “big school” for 1st grade, and she was terrified. She was worried about how to buy milk to go with her cold lunch, where the bathroom was, where she would hang her backpack, how she would find her way to the library…. Her list of anxieties streamed out for ten straight minutes. No matter how much I tried to comfort and reassure her, she just wouldn’t trust me that things were going to turn out just fine. Finally, exasperated at my attempts to calm her, she yelled at me, “But Mom…YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!….I’ve never BEEN to 1st grade before!! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!” I suppressed a smile at her childhood anguish and calmly told her, “But I HAVE been there, sweetie…And I know that there are people who will help you every step of the way. When the time comes to do the next activity, they will show you where to go and what to do when you get there. They’ve got your back, honey. It will all work out.” Finally, I felt her body relax as she melted into a puddle in my lap and the tears finally dried up.
I wonder how many times God sees the same frightened child in us and just longs to reassure us, yet we reject his comfort and doubt his ability to keep us safe through our trials. How many times have we, in effect, screamed at Him, “But God….YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!…I’ve never BEEN through (a divorce, a foreclosure, a dying parent, unemployment, a scary illness, a spouse’s addiction, a new job, the pain of depression…etc.)!! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!” And how many times do we let our anxious thoughts crowd out God’s reassurance: “But ‘I’ know what to do, my child. I will be there to help you every step of the way. When the time comes to take the next scary step, I will show you where to go and what to do when you get there. Don’t worry, child. I’ve got your back. It will all work out for your good.”
If you are that worried child today… I hope you will trust, and let your Father comfort you. Listen to His reassurance and melt into his arms and find peace.