Fear and Perfect Love
by Joey Davis
We haven't had a good night's sleep in seven years. You hear that all you folks with no kids yet? Because we have children, we haven't had a good night's sleep in seven years!
Personally, I think it's payback for the seven years we slept soundly, choosing to be childless. However, having two children who are restless souls has done much to contribute to the black circles under my eyes and the gray in my hair.
Last night, after reading Olivia a story, I tucked her in and began to turn out the lights and leave. All of a sudden, she sprang from the bed and said, "I'm scared!" Now mind you, she hadn't gone to sleep yet. She was not having a nightmare. The lights weren't even off! There had been no frightening stories to spook her. The bedtime story I read to her was Arthur meets the President, but she's too young to realize how spooky meeting President Clinton might be.
Then I asked the million dollar question. . . "What are you afraid of?" "Witches and monsters!" "Have you ever seen a witch of a monster?" "Yes, on TV." "Were they better that me?" "No." "Were they stronger than me?" "No." By this time I was getting tired and wanted to rest too. She didn't realize that if the witches and monsters weren't bigger and stronger than me, she would be better off taking her chances with them!
However, I did the "in the closet and under the bed check." I proudly announced to Olivia, "no monsters or witches in here." Finally, she settled down for the night.
As I left the room, I felt a little frustrated and hurt. I realize that Olivia may not be old enough to think of it in these terms, but I felt like she didn't trust me. She has slept in my house for seven years and has never been tortured at the hands of anyone, even witches and monsters. I have never let her be mistreated . . . ever! I would die for her and she knows it! So why should she be afraid, all the while knowing that I...am in the next room?
After mulling this over in my mind a few minutes, I began to realize how God must feel when I am afraid. How hurt He must be when I forget his 36 years of providence in favor of momentary worry. The times that I trusted myself more than Him and couldn't find peace in spite of His comfort.
He has never ignored my needs. He would never allow more burdens to be placed on me than I'm able to bear. Is He willing to die for me? Jesus already proved that point. How could I ever choose worry over peace when I know that He is near? Perfect love casts out all fear.
June 28, 1998
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