“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears,” Psalm 34:4.
The other night before turning in, I walked in to our son’s room, as is my typical practice, to kiss him, straighten the covers and revel in the sweet silence and stillness of the moment. There is no moment quite like it from “son up” to “son down”. Instead of his usual slumber-state…spread-eagle, catching flies…he was huddled up with his stuffed animal in a fetal position, tears streaming down his face as he turned towards me standing in the opened doorway.
“Michael, what on earth is the matter?”
“I was just praying to Jesus that you would come in here because I was scared…”
Just that quickly, God delivered Michael from his repeated fear of the dark. Just like David, Michael called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him by sending “an angel of the Lord” to “encamp around those who fear him,” Psalm 34:7. I’m no angel, but I happened to be the messenger God sent at that moment to provide security and comfort to a child who revered and worshiped our Savior for who He is—our Deliverer, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed,” John 8:36.
How many times have you felt defeated—either by fear of making the wrong choice, sleep deprivation or the babbling that follows it? Hopeless that your child will ever listen to you? How many times have you listened to the enemy whisper, “Haven’t you been through this before? You know God’s not paying attention! Forget it, you’re on your own. What makes you think he’s gonna help you again?”
Even a cursory glance through the Psalms would indicate David was afraid more than a few times, he called on the Lord for deliverance, and was rescued—repeatedly. Scripture challenges us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him,” Psalm 34:8.
I cannot count the number of times I’ve grieved over what I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done differently had I known more, waited a little longer, researched a little harder, or prayed a different prayer. I can’t help but think how much time I wasted in the meantime before using the one Book that had the answers I needed all along, the Bible.
Here in the Bible I find comfort in at least two of the hundreds of promises, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed,” 2 Corinthians 4:8 and “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you,” Joel 2:25-26.
After a few minutes of soothing Michael and reassuring him his prayer was answered, he finally told me, “I think I can handle it now, Mom. Thanks.” It wasn’t too many days later Michael’s prayers one morning went something like this, “Thank you, Lord, that we can learn from your Bible, and that you protect us in the shadow of your wings.” (Not to shabby for a five-year old…)
I’m so very grateful that God is standing watch over me as well, ready to deliver me from whatever I’m stuck in, as often as I get stuck. All I need is the faith of a child, the Word of God, and a short prayer of deliverance.
“How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings,” Psalm 36:7, NIV.