As parents we are fixers. Our child is sick and we work on solutions: ibuprofen, steam showers, and doctor visits. We can fix it. Or maybe our child is struggling socially. We spring into action: playdates, sports teams, and anything we can do to help them feel more confident among their peers. If our child has a problem we do our best to fix it. But what if we can’t? Maybe our adult thinking requires some sort of simplifying that only a childlike faith can fix…
When Fear Takes Over
Recently, our family has been undergoing some stress. Out of respect for my kids’ privacy, I won’t reveal too much information but one of our sons developed a really intense fear of dying. As a parent, it was so painful to see our precious child suffering mentally. Developmentally it is natural and normal for children to come to a place where they question their mortality and seek a lot of information about it. It is even normal for them to fixate on death for a period of time. But we were not prepared for the distress that the fear of death would bring to our particular son.
For a couple of weeks, we tried everything we could to ease his mind. We prayed with him and we prayed over him every night and multiple times of the day. We wrote our worries in journals, we put them in a “worry box” and asked Jesus to take them away. We sought professional guidance through books and counselors. It felt like we were taking two steps forward and one step back.
Childlike Faith: Heaven
One day, in the midst of a fearful struggle, my other son popped in with a truth bomb. He said, “You know you don’t have to worry so much about dying, we all live forever in Heaven anyway.” Boom. You could see the stress and fear leave my other, struggling son’s body. It clicked. He realized he didn’t have to worry so much about dying because once He died on earth he would move on to eternal life. And that life would be better than anything he could eve imagine here. The cure to my son’s crippling anxiety was a dose of childlike faith.
Matthew 18:3, “And He said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.'”
Final Words: Childlike Faith
What would it look like for us to go back to a childlike faith as adults? And to trust that even though our days on earth are numbered we are living for our prize in Heaven? I think it would remove a lot of the stress of our daily lives. When we focus so much on the tasks in front of us we lose sight of what really matters. But when we focus on Jesus taking care of our every need here and offering us a seat next to Him in eternal paradise, peace and joy are restored.
Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”