Two weeks ago, we watched the kids for visitation. Now that it gets dark earlier, we let the kids play in the gym instead of on the playground. We walk into the gym and all the lights are off--and it is pitch black inside. It's a little chilly outside, so I get all the kids to step inside while my husband goes to the closet after the light switches. One little girl refuses to budge, though, screaming that she's afraid of the dark. She's only 5, so I wasn't upset at all. But I did want to comfort her by asking if Jesus wasn't in the dark gym the same way he's in the light. If you know Jesus is in the darkness, and can see and protect you just as easily as in the light, there is nothing to be afraid of.
Several days ago, I was at a friend's house. They have a little girl, six or seven years old, who went outside to get something out of their vehicle. She took two steps and came right back inside, saying she didn't want to go alone because she was afraid of how dark it was. Again, my first thought was to lovingly ask if Jesus wasn't outside already and would protect her the same whether or not an adult went with her. In both situations, this verse came to mind (Ps. 56:3, to the tune I know it from Mr. E): "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." A "kid's verse" to be sure, but these were kids who were afraid.
Isn't it amazing how God uses other people to drive home a point? Yesterday, my husband's vehicle had some trouble, and I had to go pick him up off the side of the road. (Embarrassing, I know. Moving right along...) He called as he was headed home from work, so by the time I reached the interstate entrance, rush hour was in full swing. Our entrance ramp comes up at an angle, and the cars whizzing past don't ever seem to want to move over so oncoming ramp traffic can merge nicely. The speed limit is 70 right there, and since it was rush hour, no one was actually going 70, but with so many cars, they might as well have been to me. My palms got sweaty (sweatier than normal, anyway) and my knees started knocking. My breath started coming in gasps, and I was not the least bit scared of how I would safely join interstate traffic. Then the "grown-up" version of Ps. 56:3 came on the CD player (Heb. 13:5b-6, also sung by Mr. E): "For He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." My knees relaxed, my breath slowed, and my hands, well they didn't get unsweaty, but they weren't sweaty with fear anymore. I imagined Jesus standing in the middle of the road, directing traffic around an opening just for me.
In a pitch black building, when I can't see my hand in front of my face, God is there. In the inky darkness with the wind whistling through the trees, bending them into odd shadows, God is there. And even on the busy interstate, with speeder, slowpokes, and road-hogs, God is there. He is not going anywhere, and I can't go anywhere He isn't. Even if I am the best merger in the world, if God needs me to have an accident, I will. Otherwise, I will do my best to be safe and leave the rest to God. No matter where I am.