Sunday, March 13, 2011
AFRAID OF THE DARK?!
Some trials last a day, some a week, some a month and some last more years than we care to count. The latter is the case with my son who, in his younger days, experienced a relentless struggle for and against sleep. In his youth, he was a child that was wired, since his birth, with a desire to stay awake and would do anything to make it so. His sleeplessness took many forms over the years from numerous unnecessary night feedings as he looked for comfort and companionship as a baby to his own method of self-soothing by moaning and singing while rocking on his hands and knees.
No matter how much we, as loving parents, tried to lull him into sleep, convincing him of our constant presence and protection, my darling child was never convinced that we meant what we said. No manner of logic would appeal to him. No matter how many opportunities we had to gain his trust, they come back void. And, still, even as he got older, we continued to struggle with my son's sleep issues as it affected his relationships, his schooling, and his view of the world around him.
As the years pass and we continued to pray, study and read about this issue, the words 'separation' and 'fear' have came to the forefront. Fear of the dark and fear of separation from others or being alone. Fear of the unexpected and unpredictable. My son didn't accept the reassurance that we were near and would come to his aide. He didn't fully trust the immeasurable love we have for him as our son. He didn't want to be alone, especially in the dark, feeling abandoned, uncertain of what will happen, and unable to control his environment.
Recently, God in His still small voice whispered in my ear saying 'And, just how much do you trust Me? How much do you trust me when you feel alone and as if no one cares? How much do you trust me in the dark , uncertain places of your life? How much do you trust Me when you realize how little control you have over your circumstance?" He reminded me of His Word, transcending through all time, from Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do no fear; I will help you." and Psalm 9:10 "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you".
I must confess that I am often afraid of the dark and lonely places in my life. Being an only child and having lost my parents, loneliness, at times, engulfs me. I find myself more fearful of being separated from my husband and children. In those moments, I know that I do not fully trust my Creator to provide His infinite love, provision, or protection as He promises. He gave His perfect Son, the Light of the world, to rescue me from the darkness yet, often I still hold on to the things of the past, the more comfortable places and old habits, to find solace, rather than choosing to walk in His light and focusing on a future with Him.
Christ came not only to rescue me from certain death but to redeem me from the snare of fear and lies with which Satan binds me. Paul reminds me of this release in Romans 8:15 stating " For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Satan desires to entrap me in doubting the Word of the Lord and His faithfulness. Christ wants to release me by transforming me into His image. Jesus was at peace in body, mind and in spirit throughout His earthly journey as He focused on the will of His Father. When the storm raged around the apostles and their boat, Jesus slept. When He was alone for forty days in the wilderness, Jesus never doubted that God was with Him. He gave thanks for the meager food presented to feed 5,000 never doubting that His Father would provide. Jesus kept his eye on the prize at all times.
It was both an exhausting and heartbreaking journey for our sweet son and us. Yet, we were in the battle together; I, too, never left him nor forsook him. I did what I could to help him; however, his battle with fears of darkness and being alone was ultimately his alone to fight. He had to learn to trust, as do I, that God's word is true and pure. He had to believe with his entire being, as I must, that God keeps His promises, and continue to maintain his faith in things yet unseen. We both must truly die to ourselves daily and our own desire to be in control, fully surrendering to our heavenly Father. A tough battle for both of us, especially for a child, but one that will, in the long run, make us more like our Savior, Lord and King. No manner of self soothing will take His place. Nothing can fill the voids in our lives like His promise of unconditional love, care, and deliverance. His will is perfect.
In the words of Paul, '... in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Romans 8:37-39
In this walk of faith and trust, let us pick up our shields of faith and arm ourselves with His sword of truth and become more than conquerors in His mighty name!