**This post is part of the current series “Who Was Jesus? Practical Ways to Teach Our Children About Who Christ IS” You can find the entire series linked up here when we are done.**
As parents, we probably have had more than a few times when we have had a night’s sleep interupted by a toddler after something scary prompted them to come get us. As adults, we don’t really have the option to run to our parents when things get scary. But just because we are adults doesn’t mean that we don’t face things that are scary. If anything, there is more to fear in this day and age than ever before…. tough economic times make it hard to see past the fear of job loss, turbulent political policies make it hard to sail the ship of Christianity, and loose moraled television shows make it difficult to find entertainment.
Fear. It can overcome us quickly and easily when unplanned circumstances come to fruition. How many of us are forgetful to get on our knees in prayer during those times. I know I am. Why is it that during the most turbulent of situations of life do I not turn to God immediately? Is it because I like to be in control of my situations and I think I can fix it better than God? Is it that I am afraid to seek God’s face during those times because I feel rejected and become even more afraid of the things He controls? If we know that he will work all things for good and for His glory, then why are we afraid of the storms He controls?
In Mark 4: 35-41, the disciples experience a storm. The waves were raging all around them, they were full of fear, AND JESUS WAS SLEEPING! How many times in our lives are we experiencing something horrible, and we feel like God is asleep at the wheel?
Obviously the disciples didn’t feel very safe. Their boat was taking on water, the waves were getting bigger, and they were getting scared. They woke Jesus up and asked him “don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38). How many times have we experienced something we didn’t like and we scream out to Christ… Don’t you care about what is going on down here? How many times have we been too full of fear to obey Christ?
Jesus directly commanded the storm to be still. He then rebuked the disciples for not having faith. Jesus called them to focus on Him instead of the surrounding storm. No matter what kind of storm we are in, if Jesus is in our boat, we can’t ever let our fear of the unknown interrupt our relationship with our Savior. So how do we teach this to our children in a practical way? How do we teach them that our God is in control of the things they fear? Here are a few suggestions…
When you see that they are scared, stop, drop, and pray.
3. Play the game with your child where you ask them to fall backwards and you stand behind them to catch them. Talk to them about how even though they can’t see you, just like we can’t see God, that they should have enough trust in us to fall back even though they might have a fear that they are going to fall. That is the same kind of trust that they should have in God when they are fearful of something… that He will catch them and protect them.
4. Similarly, talk to them about trust. Show them (or ask them to show you) things we put our trust in. For example, we put our trust in a chair or couch that it will hold us as we sit down. When we trust that God will take care of us, even if difficult times, we do not need to fear. Ask them to name times when they have been scared or nervous (in school, speaking in front of their class, talking to someone, at night, getting lost, etc.). Remind them to pray in those times to God for security.