How to Talk to Your Kids about Fear, The Psalms, and God's Refuge
As I lay in bed last night, wondering what I was going to write for today's blog post, the only pictures I had in my mind were those of the wildfires still burning out of control in Colorado. My heart was aching for all the people who risk losing their homes, as well as the firefighters who are putting their lives on the line, fighting this out-of-control blaze. Living most of my life in California, I am no stranger to wildfires and the devastation they bring. I have friends who live in the Colorado Springs area, and who have had to be evacuated--still not knowing for sure if their home made it through last night's inferno! How terrifying for all these people! I've been there. I know.
Fear is something we can all understand. Feeling helpless in our fear is something that the enemy desires; wanting us to forget, even momentarily, that our God is standing right beside us, wanting and waiting for us to call out to Him for comfort, peace, and strength. Our children are no different than us. Their fears are just as real...and just as debilitating. How do we remind them that God is there for them during these scary moments? How do we know for sure that He really cares?
Because He said so. He gave us His Word to remind us that we are never alone, even in our darkest moments of fear.
When Joshua took over Moses' role in leading the people of Israel, God didn't leave him hanging out there in the wilderness. The Lord told Joshua, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:8)
In the latest edition of What's in the Bible? (Volume 8, the Writings), Psalms and Proverbs are taught. The Book of Psalms covers so many topics, but abiding in the Lord during moments of fear is a particular theme which is highlighted in my personal Bible! Psalm 91 is the anchor I reach out for when I start feeling scared, overwhelmed, or alone. It reminds me that God is where I find my safety, especially in my most fearful moments. This Psalm will help you and your kids face fears with the knowledge that our God is our safe place. He is who we must run to.
Please continue your prayers for the people of Colorado, and that during this most fearful of situations let us intercede for them, that God continues to be their refuge and strength.
Psalm 91 / My Refuge and My Fortress:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say[a] to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place--
the Most High, who is my refuge[b]--
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
"Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation."
Lisa Strnad is an independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women's groups on the issues of motherhood, home schooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville.