Smack! The car careened in two circles, jumped through the air, and landed in the ditch. Eerie silence.
This is how it was explained to us later.
About ten years ago, one of our sons had a serious car accident. When we received the call, we flew out the door to drive to the scene, arriving just after the police. Our son walked toward us unharmed. Our young exchange student stayed seated in the car. He was alert and didn’t appear injured but he wasn’t ready to stand or walk. The first responders thought he should be examined for the abdominal pain he was experiencing so I rode in the ambulance with him to the hospital. Many hours and several tests later revealed that he had a minor internal injury which would heal with time.
Anyone would have fear and anxiety when they hear of their child being in a car accident. We prayed with great fervency and anxiousness on the way to the scene. These are times when it’s understandable to have fear, but when it’s a daily, almost hourly occurrence, that’s different.
Fear confused me throughout my life. It seemed to be a sin because so many times the Bible tells us, “Do not be afraid.” I grew up in a strict home and church environment that was very conservative with a strong dose of punitive. I visualized God the Father as a big guy in the sky pushing His thumb down on me, saying, “Shape up and do not fear!”
When I was a little girl we sang “Jesus Loves Me” in Sunday School. I vaguely remember the flannel graph picture of Jesus holding children on his lap. It was a nice story about those lucky kids who were around during Jesus’ earthly life, but it didn’t seem to apply to me.
During my life I’ve been aware of God’s love for me, but I can’t fully comprehend it. In Ephesians 3, the Lord has revealed how His love is four-dimensional, the height, depth, length and breadth of it incomprehensible.
Fear and anxiety have knocked on my door ever since I was a child. Finding verses in the Bible, I’d often guilt myself and allow others guilt me too. A passage like Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” sounds like a command. In 2 Tim. 1:7, scripture says,” I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” The “shoulds” piled up like a slippery slope before me.
Learning to listen only to God and not the accusing voices in my head, His unexplained clear voice comes through all the static of life. Our enemy, Satan, tries to drown out the Father’s loving words.
When fear is mentioned in these verses and others, God is saying, “Come to me, my child, you don’t have to fear because I love you very much. Nothing can separate you from me.”
The Lord says, “Do not fear, FOR I am with you.” It’s as if he’s saying, “Have courage,” not “You’re a bad person because you fear!” This wonderful truth calls me to rest in Him. Through the love of Christ, I’m able to hold out my hands and receive this gift from the Lord, my loving heavenly Father.
Bible verses about fear are for encouragement, not a command that you have to feel guilty about when you don’t measure up. A friend described it this way…as a parent we respond to our child in the middle of the night, by holding the fearful child in our arms, and soothing them with words of comfort and love. We don’t scold them, tell them not to be afraid and slam the door.
The accident that our son had, could have ended very differently. The boys lived and it was a miracle. If the contact with the large vehicle had happened one second sooner, it could have ended in serious injury or death because of the intensity, speed and position of the impact. We were extremely grateful to God for His grace and mercy.
I know others have had indescribable pain in their lives and I don’t pretend to understand God’s ways and timing. The “even if” scenario can also come into play, which none of us wants to experience.
One thing I do know, God is with me, holding me, and loving me.
“He will carry the lambs close to His heart.” Isaiah 40:11
I can hear His heartbeat. I can feel His heartbeat. He holds me.
If you have a story to tell about God holding you, it might encourage someone else.