Aiming the Arrows: Fear and the broken God

You  would think that after about eleven years of diapers and pull-ups, we’d have the whole “potty training” thing down pat.  Not even close!  Cascade (about to turn three) still abhors sitting on the toilet in her attempt to “go number two.”  She prefers to use a diaper, regardless of the carrot we wave in front of her.  Her reason?  Fear.  It’s a strong emotion for Cascade.  Yesterday she was horrified when we were outside and distant thunder began to rumble.  When the wind blows and the pine trees begin to sway, she’s afraid that one will either fall upon her or upon the house.  My little girl is cute, intelligent, verbal, and easily frightened.

Are you easily frightened?  I suppose we’re all afraid of something.  Sometimes fear is a good thing.  At other times, it’s a liability.  Cascade’s fear of pain as it is associated with the toilet is irrational.  She experiences far more pain by way of diaper rash.  How can I effectively communicate these simple facts to her?  Even more importantly, how can I teach her that God is all-good and all-powerful and that He can help her overcome her fears?

A couple of days ago, I was working at my desk as Cascade was playing in the living room.  When she said what I thought I heard her say, I asked her to repeat it. 

“I hope da trees don’t fall and break God’s back.”

Being the theologian-in-residence, I informed her that God simply could not be broken.  My goal, of course, was to use her comment out of left field to remind her of something we have said many times:  God is big.  Yet, as soon as I used the words God and broken in the sentence, I thought of one exception–Jesus Christ.  The subject was a bit too much for my daughter, so I camped on the omnipotence of God.  However, the truth remains.  God was broken; and in that brokenness we find the key to courage. 

Today I am grateful that–due to the brokenness of Christ–I need not fear.  I need not fear death because the resurrection of Christ assures my resurrection  (1 Cor. 15:54,55).  I need not be afraid of the day of judgment because God’s perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).  I need not fear that the seemingly random acts of others or the unexpected events of my life serve no good purpose (Rom. 8:28). 

Christ communicates courage!

Of what are you afraid?  Flee to the broken God!

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