Some of the most meaningful conversations between my son and I take place while I’m tucking him in at bedtime. Several weeks ago, he was having a hard time being quiet during nap time at school. One night after a few days of being “clipped down” in class for giggling with his nap-time neighbors, I was trying to encourage him once again to make good choices the next day.
“You can do it, honey. I know you can be quiet at nap-time tomorrow.”
“But, mommy, I’m afraid I can’t.”
“Because when I open my eyes and look at “friend #1,” he always makes me laugh.”
“Hmmmm…well, why don’t you just turn your head the other direction?”
“I do! But “friend #2″ is on that side, and he makes me laugh, too!”
“Well, then just keep your eyes closed until you fall asleep!”
“But, Mommy!! What if I have a bad dream??”
Have you ever felt that trouble followed you no matter what direction you took? You walk down a certain path, and there it is, waiting for you. So, you try to do the right thing and turn to go another way, and what do you know? There it is again. If we can’t escape it, we hope to at least ignore it, but that doesn’t work, either. It finds us.
What are we to do? How do we avoid trouble? I’ll tell you what I told my son when he told me he couldn’t do the right thing because he was afraid he would have a bad dream. His little blue eyes were worried. Anxious over this thing that none of us can control. How could I reassure him? I couldn’t, so I didn’t pretend that I could. “You might have a bad dream, baby. But, you probably won’t. And, if you do, it’ll all be okay because it’s just a dream and it can’t hurt you.”
He was disappointed, but not much. He accepted the truth quickly, and we moved on to a story and a song. The next day, he slept at nap time and didn’t have any bad dreams.
As adults, our concerns are usually more substantial than a bad dream. “Can we pay the rent?” “Can we get a second opinion?” “Can our marriage last?”
Psalm 16:18 says, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (niv)
We don’t have to run away from our problems, and we don’t have to try to ignore them. But, if we keep our eyes focused on the Lord, our problems will fall to the periphery of our vision. We will still have to deal with them, because they are not going to disappear, but we won’t have to deal with them on our own. To have God at our right hand means that we trust His council. He is our most special, most trusted advisor. We look to him to guide us through and past our problems and bad dreams.
Is there something you need to turn your eyes away from and put your focus on God?