Fear that isn't Imaginary

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Last night at 2 am my 10 year old little man burst into our room crying from a nightmare.  I'm scratching his back picturing monsters and instead he tells me this story.

A man was kicking me and hitting me in our hallway but I could not scream for you because of my asthma.

My heart broke- this wasn't childhood fantasy fear- this was real life fear.  This is his everyday fear- no air- feeling helpless.

This isn't a fear I can scratch his back and say, "Monsters aren't real- go back to bed."  This is his reality.  This monster is real.

And as I prayed and wrestled at 2 am last night about what to tell my son about "real fear"- God reminded me of the story of Stephen- as he was being killed.

Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."...While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen was being killed and not afraid...

Not because the threat wan't real, not because the stones didn't hurt.

He saw past the fear into eternity... Our God, who faced every fear cheering him on.

My son is growing to understand without asthma- when does he look at God's face? He is succesful on nearly all other counts.  It is his fear that makes him need God... it is his helplessness where he stops and looks up and sees Him.

Past fear to God. When we can't hear him or see him or help him- God can.

God gives breath.

"Monsters aren't real" is just so much easier!