Tuesday, November 7, 2017
I was working out tonight and again the youngest boy, Tyler, wanted to be with me. As I lifted weights in our gym he told me that he was afraid and wanted to stay close to me. I asked him what it was that frightened him, and he told me, “bears”. Then I remembered that we had just seen a bear on the camp property a few days ago and I had warned him about how powerful they are.
I reminded him that I would protect him and that bears were not going to bother us in the first place, but this did not satisfy him. Then I asked him if he believed in God, and if he did, did he also believe that God would protect him. He told me that he was not sure about God, and that if God really did exist, he would like for God to “swoosh down from the sky and protect him”. I explained that this is precisely what God had already done through His Son Jesus.
We talked more and I asked him if he would like to pray to God and ask God to look after him. He quickly agreed, and without any instructions from me he prayed to God silently, and, at the end said, “I am afraid God. Please protect me from the bears”; then he looked up to me with excitement and said that he had “heard God”. I asked him what he meant, and he said he heard the sound of a “sigh”, or a “breeze” after he prayed. (I thought of the Holy Spirit, God’s Comforter, and recalled that the Greek word for “spirit” is “pneuma”, or wind…sigh..breathe. Had Tyler actually heard God speak the first time he prayed?
Then I asked him how he felt, and he told me that he was no longer afraid. I worked out for about forty-five minutes and he never again spoke of being scared. Something dispelled that anxiety and fear instantly. As we left the gym he asked me one last question, “Does God ever sleep?”. I told him that God never sleeps and always hears our prayers—-all day and all night long. This was the reassurance that he was looking for—-God can be trusted to always be there. I don’t ever have to be afraid of bears again.
Tyler preached to me tonight. I am afraid of things and I often fail to pray to God first, sincerely, and simply: “God I am afraid of ________, please protect me”. Such a simple thing to do—and such power. “Unless you become as a little child, you will never enter into the Kingdom of God”……and unless you pray like a little child you’ll always be afraid of something.