One of the things I say to my little ones, often, is “not to worry, I’ll protect you. Daddy and I will keep you safe.” I truly mean it when I say it to them, because mostly we can. Mostly, I’m saying this in response to the sound of the rain that can be frightening, or bad dreams that need soothing, or childhood worries that need to be healed by hugs and love. These are things that I can protect them from. I can leave a light on at bedtime; I can take care of a stinkbug. But often I wonder how to handle the rest.
There are plenty of things that I can’t save my kids from. I know that I’m not the only one who thinks about these things: I only need to look here and here to know that I’m in good company. I wonder about how to tell my kids that I will disappoint them; that I can’t always protect them. Even now, as little as they are, and as much control as I think I have in their lives, I can’t protect them any bigger than I am. I cannot save them from a car accident. I cannot stop a tree from crashing into their bedroom window. And I cannot protect them from this world — the hurt, the sadness, the brokenness. So when I say “I will always protect you” am I promising something I can’t follow through on?
This is what I know: God is bigger than my fears and certainly bigger than the fears of my little guys. Teaching my little ones about God’s faithfulness is one of my biggest jobs. By being reminded of my need to “cast my anxieties on Him because He cares for [me],” (1 Peter 5:7) I am showing my little ones who their Protector is. I can model for them how to “be strong, courageous, and firm” — to show them that I will not fear “for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6). In being humble before the Lord, I turn my fears over to Him. I am entrusted with many jobs as a mom — being their Protector, in its biggest and scariest sense is thankfully not one of them. I am never alone, and neither are my little ones. Praise the Lord.