Don't Be Afraid!
I was afraid for my son’s future. He had graduated from college with a degree in English but couldn’t find a job commensurate with his skills. As he continued to work as a clerk at Krispy Kreme, a dark cloud of depression settled over him. I knew he was abusing alcohol to numb his pain. He couldn’t continue the way he was without suffering some serious consequences.
I felt powerless to help. He was a grown man and wouldn’t take his mother’s advice to seek counseling or pursue a new career path.
Even my prayers were full of fear for his future instead of faith.
To make matters worse, we had suffered through a long, wet winter in SW Washington State. And I felt like I was drowning in rain and gray skies.
So, when the sun broke through, I put on my hiking shoes and headed outside for a walk in the woods. It was my favorite way to clear my mind and gain a cheerier perspective.
As I slipped and slid along a muddy trail, I sought to forget my fears about my son by focusing on the sunlit fir trees and ferns along the path. But even a woodpecker drilling a tree nearby didn’t lighten the load that weighed me down like a heavy backpack.
My hiking boots were up to their laces in mud when I stopped to pray for him at a high fork in the trail. Nearby, Mill Creek roared from the bottom of a steep hill, and I decided to explore.
I was rewarded by the sight of the rain-swollen creek flashing and tumbling in the sun. I gratefully soaked in the sunshine and leaned in to sniff the nearest fir tree. I was disappointed though when fear dogged my steps back up the slick hill.
At the top, I was surprised to meet a tiny girl of about four. Her pink boots were spattered with mud and she stood near her mother crying in protest at the slick hill before her. She couldn’t see to the bottom of it, and to her the creek below must have sounded like a roaring monster.
I smiled at her. “The creek is beautiful. You’re almost there.”
I was glad when her face brightened. She immediately stopped crying. I had only walked a little further when her chirpy voice rang through the forest.
“Don’t be afraid! Everything is going to be okay.”
I chuckled, amazed at her words. She sounded just like God. I remembered then that in His word, He tells us not to fear a total of 365 times. Once for every day of the year.
Suddenly the peace that I craved flooded my soul.
Over the years, my son's life has taken some difficult turns. But through it all, God has provided, sometimes in miraculous ways.
I’ll always remember the chirpy voice of the little girl all dressed in pink and the comfort she gave me that day. Her words are for you too.
"Don't be afraid! Everything is going to be okay."
So, encourage one another and build each other up even as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11