I was just a young girlie, but I still remember my mint-green crib with iron rods. The crib was arranged alongside my parent’s bed. My baby sister’s wooden crib had been placed at the foot end of my parent’s bed. My parents at that time were renting an old farmhouse with one bedroom on the main floor. From the stories I hear, I gave my parents some hassle at nighttime. I was a fussy baby. They discovered that driving me around during the evening hours put me to sleep rather quickly. As I grew out of the baby and toddler stage, the fussiness manifested itself as anxiety. I didn’t particularly like the dark. My night anxiety was subdued by Daddy’s strong hand. I recall one night sticking my hand through the mint green rods of the crib and begging him to hold my hand. I recall him sighing deeply as he replied, “Do I have to hold your hand again?” Tired or not, he held my hand, and I soon fell asleep. The night darkness had no power over me because my daddy was holding my hands.
I also recall the first time the security of my safe world shattered. I had played with my cousin Leland that day. That evening I heard distress in my parents’ voices as they talked about Leland’s other grandma being killed in a car accident on their way to his house for dinner. My parents gathered up us children, and we drove over to my aunt’s home where the in-laws were gathering. That evening I went to bed, and I had vivid dreams of accidents and such things. I begged my parents the next morning to never tell such bad news again. Of course that was impossible.
Strange how now fifty some years later, anxiety still seems to surface betimes. Its voice always seems stronger and truer during the night watches. Anxiety has many forms of self-doubt and a voice of self-centeredness. Can I meet this job deadline? How will I get everything done I have on my list for tomorrow? Did I handle the work situation as well as I could have? Will someone take care of me when I am old? What is wrong with me that I wasn’t asked? How will I handle the changes in my family or church? How can I get out of this relational mess? Will I be able to get my bills paid this month? Is my health going to hold up? Such questions race through my frenzied mind. Anxieties tighten stomachs, tense muscles, freeze creativity juices, and hinder sleep.
Anxieties are big fat lies that spin out of control. It powerfully instills the belief that everything is up to me, and everything is dependent upon me. That is a lie. The truth is that God makes this world go round. Psalm 104 goes into amazing detail describing the work of God in this world. Additionally, He promises us the safety of wings.
He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4
Lord, I drop my worries and anxieties at your feet and crawl under the safety net of your protective wings. In the stillness and darkness of these wings I rest my anxious heart and trembling body. Here, lies hold no power because Your truth is my defense. In all of life, cover me with your feathers as I rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Amen