The current political climate has triggered memories in me of my teen years when we lived in Jordan. It was during the time when it was obvious that war was imminent and the signs of fear were everywhere. I remember the nights of putting blankets over all our windows for mock air raids. I remember all laughter and joking was nonexistent in school. Church services were very somber and the streets of Jerusalem were quiet. It was during those days that my dad was receiving daily messages from the American Embassy advising us on our safety and notices to evacuate. But those aren’t the memories that come – they are the stage in which they happened.
I was 14 years old and did not know what war looked like. I could tell it was not positive as there were many rumors and frightening stories. I could see and hear the fear in the people around me every day. Everyone except my dad. Here’s where the memories come. I remember coming home from school and telling him all the frightening things I had heard or experienced. I’d tell him stories of how my friends were saying the future would be. I would ask if we were going to be killed by the planes. I wanted to know what would happen to our little church family. I was reacting to the climate of turmoil that I experienced every day. Every time I related my feelings of fear and anxiety to him, he would stop whatever he was doing and very calmly (a characteristic of my father) explain to me that we were different in how we saw things. We could not control what was happening around us but we were children of God and He did control the world. He read passages like Matthew where Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of war to explain how God already knew what the world would do and then he would turn to other “fear not” scripture. Other times when I would tear up from fear, he would hold me and explain how our faith in God gives us strength in whatever circumstances we live in. He would always pray with me. My dad believed God and I believed my dad. It made a frightening world much more secure.
Let me use my own memories to encourage the parents and grandparents of today to secure the world for your children during these troubled times. They are watching your reactions to an anxious and fearful political climate. They are needing to hear words of assurance about your faith in God so that they will trust him. Read and pray with them. Let this be a teachable moment in the life of your family where trusting God is truly an anchor of your home and peace is an obvious presence of the Spirit. “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”