Do you remember the Veggie Tales song about God being bigger than the boogie man? That simple song taught real truth. It didn't hide the fact that we are afraid, but it pointed to the only solution to our fear - the truth that God is bigger than all of it. That's the message that we need to be teaching kids today more than ever.
We live in unprecedented times, full of all kinds of emotions. There's anxiety, confusion, sadness, anger, fear and so much more. A simple google search will reveal article after article about rising anxiety and fear among children. The world's answer is to either give into the fear, or just brush it away. It's only as Christians that we have a real answer to fear.... God! Now, more than ever, we need to be prepared to point children to Christ as the answer in all of these situations. We need tools to help us show children (and ourselves), that God is bigger than all of our fear!
Fear is common in children, even in the best of times. From babies and toddlers struggling with separation anxiety, to the monster in the closet, to bullying at school, kids face fears. I remember when my son was 10-months-old, he cried every time Daddy left for work. In his little heart, he didn't know if Daddy would be back. He feared he would never see Daddy again.
And, add to all of these common fears the situations around the world today, from war, violence, earthquakes, and hurricanes, to disease and death. Fear is real.
In the last few years, children have been faced with fears that in many ways are taking away their childhood. Children today are afraid that they or someone they love will get sick and even die. They may be afraid something bad will happen because of their skin color. Or maybe they're afraid that they'll get in trouble because of something they say about God at school.
As Christians, we know that fear is real, but thankfully we also know the One who has overcome all fear. We also have the best possible resource on overcoming fear through faith in Christ... God's Word. Think through the Old Testament for a minute. Think about the very real fears the men and women of the Old Testament faced.
- Abraham was scared his family would end with him, but God gave him a son in his old age.
- Noah had to have been scared stepping into the ark and watching the waters rise, but God saved him and started the world over with him and his family.
- Daniel was thrown into a pit of lions, but he trusted in God and came out the next morning giving all glory to God.
- David stepped onto the frontlines against a giant with a sling and a stone, but he knew that God is bigger than any enemy.
This is the God we need to point our children to in the midst of fear!
And, the Bible is packed with verses to combat fear. Here are just a few to encourage your heart and help you encourage the hearts of the children you love.
- Isaiah 41:11 - God is with us
- Psalm 56:3 - when the psalmist was afraid, he trusted in God
- Joshua 1:9 - God is with you wherever you go
- Isaiah 41:13 - God holds us in his right hand
- Psalm 118:6 - with God on your side, what can man do to you?
- Proverbs 29:25 - whoever trusts in the Lord is safe
It's in the midst of all of this fear, that the curriculum "Faith over Fear" and "More Faith Less Fear," come in. These series are designed to point your kids to God as their hope and refuge through the stories of some of the heroes of faith that we read about in Hebrews 11.
I'm so excited to be able to share these materials with you, but I also know that we're not the only good resources available out there. So, if you're looking to stock your church library, or want to recommend resources to your families, here are some good resources on fear/ sadness and suffering
Other Helpful Resources:
- Henry Says Goodbye (when you are sad) - these first 3 are from CCEF and are part of a series called "Good News for Little Hearts"
- Jax's Tail Twitches (when you are angry)
- Zoe's Hiding Place (when you are anxious)
- The Moon is Always Round - a sweet reminder of God's goodness in the midst of suffering
- The Great Big Sad - a new book walking through the grief process with a brother and sister who loose their grandma
Please know I'm praying for you!