Back before I had kiddos, I worked an office job with several of you lovely readers. I enjoyed the position, but it had an unfortunate side effect: my dreams.
Not my dreams for the future dreams. Rather, my dreams. At night.
I stood at a copy machine and I copied papers. For hours. In my dreams. Night after night, I dreamed the same boring copier dream.
I felt betrayed by my own brain. All that gray matter with nothing else to do while I slept and the most interesting thing it could come up with was a Xerox machine. It’s embarrassing, really.
Sunday morning of this week, I had another kind of dream. I won’t share it with you, but I woke up weeping. Thank goodness Josh was right there.
It was vivid and horrible. You know the type. It played on my deepest fears, and worse yet, it was so darn realistic.
Again, betrayed by my own mind. A mother’s fears are her own worst nightmares coming true. How dare those nightmares play out before her while she sleeps, unable to escape and powerless to discern fact from fiction.
This kind of fear is so unfair because we are helpless to fight against it. We want control, and yet this kind cruelly reminds us that, nope, we are not in control.
I had already been mulling over a “fear” verse for weeks. Isaiah 33:6, “He will be the sure foundation for your times; a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge. The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”
I’m not terribly clever, but I feel comfortable asserting that the Bible isn’t teaching that we fear God like we fear the Boogie Man. And being afraid of ghosts or creepy clowns rarely leads to treasures, as far as I’m aware. So this is the not (or shouldn’t be) the kind of fear that gives us nightmares. Because God is a daddy, remember? There is nothing more tender and safe than a good daddy.
There were a few people who gave us lip when we birthed two consecutive girls. “When are you going to have a boy?” they asked. We would just smile, and then stab them with our eyeballs when they walked away. (The poor souls. They had obviously snoozed through a few lessons in the reproductive sciences.)
But truthfully, watching Josh learn to nurture those two little girls has been one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. I’m thankful that my girls (and boy) have a good daddy, but even more so, I am thankful they have seen and will know for the rest of their lives that a man can be genuinely tender, lovingly unselfish and unswervingly committed to doing what’s right.
I want them to know that good daddies do everything in love. Even the hard stuff.
Josh disciplines our kids just like my dad used to discipline me. But because good daddies have proven their love to their children, these difficult moments only serve to increase the child’s respect and awe for their father. He sets boundaries for me. He is willing to correct me when I wander too far. He is in control. I am safe with my daddy.
I read this week that if Christians do not view God as their father and themselves as his beloved children, then they do not understand Christianity well at all. This is at the crux of who God is, and everything, everything about what we think about God should be seen through the lens of his daddyhood. Including our fear of him.
And so we are safe.
Fearing him means we understand who he is and the authority he holds. It also means that we understand who we are in light of his majesty.
When I struggle with being a stay-at-home mom or I hate the weather that day or I’m trying to control a situation around me, I remember that fearing God leads to the treasure of wisdom and salvation, and I can rest.
Who am I to worry? Or to demand my way? Or complain about this day that God has made? He is in control. He is good. He keeps me safe inside his boundaries.
He is a good daddy.
Perhaps nothing has done more for my sense of peace this Christmas season than realizing that I can rest completely in my “fear” of him.
He is in charge, and nothing I do (or screw up or try to manipulate) can change that.
Who are we to worry?
God is in charge here. We are not. He is control. We are not.
This is a good thing.
So, rest, friends.
Whatever happens, He is a good Daddy who always acts in love.
And in other fantastic news: the absolutely randomly selected winner of the copy of God Bless Our Christmas and the super-adorable key chain is….Merrilee! Congrats!
And thanks to all who participated. Not a single darn one of ya picked my favorite movie however. So that either means you are all missing out on the best Christmas movie of all time…or I have bizarre taste. Either way, thanks for playing along, friends.
This is such a good reminder, Hannah. I really like that verse in Isaiah 33, especially the “He will be the stability of your times.” (ESV) It reminds me too of Isaiah 51:12, 13: “Who are you to fear man….., and you forget the Lord your Maker…” [condensed version]. Thank you for sharing this reminder that God’s love is what motivates everything that He does: the do’s, the don’ts, the yes’s, the no’s, and the wait’s. (And please don’t judge my grammar, I have no idea how to spell the plural form of the word yes!) 😛
I would never judge you, Laura. 🙂 Isaiah is just chock-full of good truth. Thanks for sharing. I have enjoyed the thought of God being THE sure foundation for my times over and over again since I learned this verse. It is so comforting, and brings me back to him when my attitudes and worries start to go haywire. Thanks, friend.
Love this post!
Love that God is the good Father and we can rest in him.
So what’s your favorite Christmas movie? I like The Nativity Story. (2006) A Christmas Carol (1984–I haven’t seen Disney’s 2009 version but I will watch it this year). And … I like Family Man and While You Were Sleeping, too.
You got it, Sally! Sick in bed and you’re still brilliant enough to guess my favorite movie. The Nativity Story makes me cry with happiness every time. Coming in a close second is the Muppet Christmas Carol. We’ve watched it as a family for years. Yes, we are strange and childish. 🙂
Family Man is a good one too. It’s actually the only movie with Nicholas Cage that I will permit in this house. He drives me nuts otherwise. 🙂
I married your dad who is like my dad. I am one blessed wife and daughter. Thank you Heavenly Father for many blessings.