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Words of Life

When I Am Afraid

By Angela Thomas January 15, 2012 Words of Life

My son William is thirteen. He is one of the all-time best kids on the planet. We call him Renaissance because he loves so many things. He follows Jesus with a tender heart, is great with school work, plays the tenor sax. He’s a little soccer star. And the kid gets in the car every day after school, swipes my phone, and checks the stock market, telling me which shares he should have bought yesterday.

Almost every other sentence out of William is about an invention. This morning he wanted to install some kind of device on teenagers’ cars so that they would not be allowed to drive more than ten miles above the speed limit, and this device would automatically know the speed limit where the student is, based on GPS tracking. That same satellite tracking would also alert the young driver to stop signs and traffic concerns ahead. Obviously, his mind is always whirling.

But my little Renaissance man has one fear. William, at this age, feels anxious when he is alone. He has grown up in a big family with lots of people, so he’s never really had to be alone. And as brave and smart as he is about almost everything else, my sweet William says being alone just makes him feel afraid.

This morning I needed to be at the airport around eight. The kids are out of school and everyone else is away with a friend except William. Last night, I knew what the answer was going to be before I asked, but I said, “William, do you want to sleep in tomorrow morning since you don’t have school, then Scott will come home after he takes me to the airport? Or do you want to get up and go with us?” Without hesitation, he wanted to get up early. My boy doesn’t like to be alone.


As I’ve thought about William’s fear, I have realized that my desire to parent and love him well is only a poor imitation of our heavenly Father’s matchless love for us. Anything good that I feel for William as a parent has been perfected by God and given to us as our Father. I want to give William comfort and peace for his tender heart. Even more perfectly, our heavenly Father gives to us a deep and soothing comfort that no one else in this world can give. As I think about how I care about William’s one little fear, it makes me more aware of the father -character of our God and teaches me so much about how He responds to us when we are trembling inside.

Some of the things I have realized as a mom who wants to give comfort are:

I am not mad at my son for being afraid. He is a little boy, not yet a man, and I am his mom. Even more perfectly, God is not mad at us when we tremble inside. He knows the limitations of our humanity. He created us with earthly minds and emotions. He is not mad when we come to Him with our fears. The Bible says God has compassion on our weakness and longs for us to turn toward Him for comfort.

When I sense that William is fearful, I go to him. He is a snuggle-bunny, and hugs make him feel safe. I am a lot like that too. Very touchy-feely, hug-hug. It’s my love language, and I think I’ve passed it to most of the family. Scripture says God is near to the brokenhearted. I believe that even more than an earthly parent would run to comfort his or her child, our Father runs to us, His children. He gives us a comfort we cannot receive apart from Him. He is present. He is our refuge. Our safety. Our hiding place.

Nothing William could do, no fear that he could have, would ever make me love him less. Romans 8 says nothing can ever separate us from the love of God, not our fears, not our trembling. Not even our confusion about the heartaches that come into our lives. Even when we push Him away with our cries, He does not withdraw his love or dangle it cruelly just out of reach. No honest feeling or thought will ever diminish the love of God for you.

God is comfort.

Excerpted from Do You Know Who I Am? by Angela Thomas (Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster).Hear more of Angela’s story this Tuesday and Friday on LIFE Today.

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