Fear has long been a struggle for me. As a child, I was scared that there were wolves in the bathroom next to my bedroom. I was certain that late at night, when mom and dad were asleep, they would sneak into my room and gobble me up. I tried so hard to be brave but when the fear was too much to bare, I would scream for my dad to rescue me. After all, kids are always safe once they’re with their parents. Even scary old wolves know that. I knew that he loved me and would come to my rescue, so in my desperation, I would cry out for my daddy to save me.
My father, in his infinite wisdom, knew just what to do. Before putting me back to bed, he would find the wolves and get rid of them. Sometimes he would destroy them with magical anti-wolf guns. Other times he would lecture them and then send them home to their mommies if I thought they deserved another chance…. But he always got rid of the wolves.
I’d like to say that I’ve gotten over my fears now that I’m grown up, now that I’m a mother and a teacher. On the contrary, although I no longer fear imaginary bathroom wolves, there are many real life issues that can terrify a mother’s heart. At times these fears can be overwhelming and I often find myself wishing that I could still cry out for my daddy to come and rescue me.
But it’s not that simple anymore… Or is it? In the book of Romans, Paul calls me an adopted child of God. He says that I’m not a slave to fear anymore and that I can cry out “Abba, father.” In Greek, Abba is a very intimate form of the word father. It’s like saying, “Daddy.” Paul says that we cry out, not call, not pray soberly with head bowed and a frown upon our face. No, we cry out like a little child who’s scared at bedtime crying, “Daddy! Help me!”
There’s an offer of tremendous freedom here, especially for us parents. As a mom, my tendency is to try to fix everything on my own, but I can’t. Some things are too much for me. Some wolves are too big and strong. I’ve found that in this adventure of raising up mommy, the best way to raise myself up is to become a small child again. Now I seek to be this child that cries out to her daddy and trusts that when he intervenes, she will be safe…. A child that knows her daddy loves her and that when she rests in His love, there is no room for fear.