I know a certain set of parents that have grown increasingly frustrated at their child’s irrational bedtime fears. These parents are tired, confused and frankly annoyed. The bedtime fears are so ridiculous. Every time we they are awakened from needed and restful sleep by one of these fears they get more and more offended.
You see, these parents keep explaining to their child that they have no reason to fear.
“Daddy and momma will never let anyone hurt you!”
“There is no such thing as a monster and you know that!”
“Snakes will not get in your bed!”
“No, people will not be shooting missiles at our house tonight!”
The exasperation hits a fever pitch when I … I mean they exclaim,
“Do you trust your father?”
“Do you believe your momma?”
“Does daddy lie to you?”
“Have we ever not taken care of you?”
Later that day the daddy prays,
“Lord, help me understand what is going on with her!”
Daddy opens his Bible and reads Isaiah 26:3-4.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Now, I know what you might be thinking … “Hey, what a great Bible verses to share with your child to help them put their trust in the Lord.”
Except, that passage wasn’t written to kids struggling with bedtime fears. It was written to parents in Judah by the prophet Isaiah.
Parents who had failed to trust the LORD.
Grown men and women who feared what the future held.
Men and women filled with anxiety and worry that God might not deliver them.
The Lord answered my prayer. Just not the way I wanted Him to. He used my child to mirror my own weaknesses and sinfulness back at me. If it is irrational for my child to fear despite my assurances, how irrational is it for me to fear in light of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe’s assurances?
You see, if we look hard enough and honestly enough at the behaviors of our children which frustrate us the most, we’ll see reflections of ourselves.
Our children’s desire to be in control reflects our desire to be in control.
Our children’s lack of trust mirrors our own.
Our children’s selfishness reveals our own.
Our children’s need of a Savior should remind us of how much we too, their parents, need one.
Dear Lord, rescue us from ourselves and help us to trust You and follow You. You are the Rock of our lives and we can depend on You for everything.
May our kids learn to trust their Savior from watching us.