“For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV).
As a parent, I am constantly challenged by fear. In this very dangerous world we live in, it is easy to become over protective when it comes to our kids. After all, we want our kids to be safe and to be treated the way they deserve. However, it doesn’t always work out that way and that’s when fear can build and prevent us from giving our kids the freedom to explore all that this world offers to them, which can help shape them into confident, assured and self-reliant human beings.
I remember, for instance, when my daughter first learned to drive. Those early driving lessons with me in the passenger-side seat were nerve racking, to say the least. I was the parent sitting in the passenger seat, banging my foot on the invisible brake that wasn’t going to slow us down. I gripped and clenched my teeth as I tried to find the right things to say that would offer her sound advice rather than negative criticism.
It took several months before I even entertained the idea that she would be able to drive on an expressway. But, I soon began to realize that I couldn’t wait for the perfect time when I would feel comfortable enough, because that just wasn’t going to occur. As she grew confident behind the wheel, I had to loosen my grip on the car seat and let her go to see where the road would take her.
In my bible study time this past week, I continued on in the Book of Numbers, Chapters 11 through 15. Throughout these chapters, we observe a lot of complaining among God’s people for the hardships they had to endure throughout their journey in the wilderness towards the Promised Land.
I want to take a look at Chapter 13, specifically. In this chapter, Moses sends men to explore the land of Canaan, which is the land God is going to give to the Israelites. Moses asks them to inspect the land and the people living there, to report on the condition of the land and to bring back samples of the crops seen there (See Numbers 13:18-20). So, the men go out to follow Moses’ instruction. After exploring the land for 40 days, they return and report to Moses that the land is plentiful (“flowing with milk and honey”), but the people living there are “powerful and their towns large and fortified” (see Numbers 13:27-28). Caleb, one of the men sent from the tribe of Judah, exclaims that they should conquer the land at once (see Numbers 13:30). However, the men begin to shout that they can’t, because the men are too strong that live there. They describe the people living there as “giants” (see Numbers 13:31-33).
Caleb sees things differently than the others. He saw the exact same land and the exact same people living in it and yet he didn’t give up. How did the men return to safety after spending 40 days exploring the land? Because, God was protecting them. The people forgot God’s promise to deliver them to the Promised Land. They let their fear grip hold of them and prevent them from moving ahead and trusting in God’s provision.
In Chapter 14, both Joshua (from the tribe of Ephraim) and Caleb remind the people that the land is “wonderful.” They warn the others to not rebel against the Lord and be afraid, because the Lord is with them and protecting them (see Numbers 14:7-9).
God can protect us from the “giant” obstacles in our lives. This is a great reminder to me, as a parent, that I need only call on God in times when I worry about my children and their safety. He is their ultimate protector. While this is often times easier said than done, it is comforting to know God protects His children. I can’t always control the fear I have when it comes to letting my children have their freedom and space to discover the opportunities that this world has to offer them. But, I can call upon my Heavenly Father in times of worry and ask for His protection over them and for his calming Spirit to help me encourage and embrace them through their own journeys.
Heavenly Father, You are our ultimate protector. With you, I do not need to fear. Please help me to call on you in times of worry over my children’s well being and safety. Help me to remember that it is through faith that we draw out fear. I lift up my children to You and ask for guidance and protection over them. Thank you for the wonderful blessing of being their Mother and guide me by Your Holy Spirit, so that I may guide them through You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.