Over the last couple of months I’ve had a series of conversations with my daughter, Maelei. At the time they all seem to be quite random conversations, yet recently I realized a common thread. Let me share with you the jist of those “Maelei Talks.”
The first “Maelei Talk” was about going to college. Although she was in the 6th grade at the time, she had been considering which college was best. She chose a local college because it was close to home, infact it was right next door to where my wife works...mom could actually take her every day. Given her desire to be a teacher, the school she chose was perfect. After I recovered from the tuition sticker shock, I praised her choice.
The next “Maelei Talk” was about living at home. She had been giving a lot of thought about where she was going to live, especially while attending college. So she asked if she could simply live at home; stating that saving money on laundry, food, living expenses and the such would make it “easier for us.” It wasn’t long after that discussion that she revisited the subject by asking if it would be okay if she just lived with us for the rest of our lives. Understanding she was only 12 years old and that her desire to live at home would no doubt change, we both agreed that our home was always open to her to live as long as she liked.
The third “Maelei Talk” was about her vocation. For years she had desperately wanted to be a teacher, just like mom, but now she had changed her mind. She wanted to be a veterinarian. A high and noble aspiration and with her love for animals and her giftedness of being an “animal whisperer” it seem like a good fit...at least on the surface.
That last “Maelei Talk” stayed with me for days. I had a nagging question that caused Maelei and I to revisit her vocation change. Upon further investigation she revealed that her change of vocation was because “teachers get killed at school and veterinarians don’t.” Suddenly I saw the thread...she was afraid.
Fear of the unknown directed her desire to stay close to home. Fear of being alone had caused her to maintain her current address for the rest of our lives. Fear of dying in a school shooting had changed her calling and vocation. Fear was controlling her life.
I suspect Maelei isn’t alone...perhaps you and Maelei have something in common.
- Keeps some of us from entering into relationships because we may get hurt.
- Keeps some of us from going to the mall because we might die in a terrorist attack.
- Keeps some of us from achieving our dreams because we might fail.
- Keeps some of us from….fill in blank
But as children of God we are told to “fear not.” In fact over 80 times in God’s word the command to “fear not” is used and seems to be paired with the thought that God is with us. We are not to fear because God is with us. And according to Romans 8:31; “....If God is for us, who can be against us?”
No matter what God is with us.
Soon after the Paris terrorist bombings and as the news stations were posting every detail about the senseless attacks, I could see panic and fear on Maelei’s face. It prompted yet another “Maelei Talk.”
I asked her what was wrong and she stated that she was afraid of terrorism happening here and killing one of us [her family]. I explained to her that we trust in God and that He will take care of us, protecting us from harm. I was surprised at her response, “I’m sure that some of them trusted Jesus too and yet they’re dead.”
I was stunned! She was right. Then came this moment of spiritual truth that I shared with her. The same sovereign God that keeps and protect us from harm is the same sovereign God that will keep and sustain us should we fall victim to an act of violence. If we trust Him when life is good then we can trust him when life is not so good. That’s essentially what Job said in Chapter 2:10
If you are afraid...that truth is for you. For Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). So fear not! I know...easier said than done.
Over the next couple of blogs we’re going to consider fear and how to overcome with God’s help. In the meantime, fear not for God is with you, as he was yesterday, so he is today and will be tomorrow. Be of good cheer...God is for you!.