When my first child was born, I read everything I could set my eyes on about anything that could go wrong within the first few months of his life. After all, they say, ‘forewarned is forearmed’ right? He was a healthy full-term baby, with ten fingers, ten toes, and an excellent Apgar score. Yet as I looked upon his innocent face, I was suddenly struck with an unshakeable awareness of the fragility of life.
As my voracious reading progressed, I was introduced to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and I started down an internet rabbit hole. Each article I read, each personal story of losing a baby through SIDS served only to increase my anxiety about my inability to protect my little one. One moment I was reading an article counseling you to place nothing in the baby’s crib – not a blanket, nor a stuffed animal – because each item may lead to SIDS: The very next moment I would stumble upon a testimony from a mother who adhered to all the counsel offered to prevent SIDS but still woke up one morning to find her child lying lifeless in their crib.
What if that was my baby? What could I do differently to ensure that my family would never meet such a fate? Sleep was tiring as I would wake up at every movement, every coo, every change in breathing from my baby. As a loving wife who subscribes to the ‘sharing is caring’ motto, I shared my anxieties with my husband, and the first night that our son slept longer than six hours, my husband woke him up just to make sure he was still breathing. You get the picture – we were a wretched ball of anxiety!
The more I thought about how powerless I was to protect my child from SIDS, the clearer it became to me how feeble all my efforts to secure the safety, protection, and welfare of my child were. In fact, I could not guarantee my own welfare, let alone that of a helpless baby!
Overwhelmed with a sense of my frailty, I turned to my mother, who turned me to Jesus. How did she do it? How can you ever rest again when there are so many mishaps to shield your child from?
The answer was simple: Trust in Jesus.
“Every time you put your child down to sleep, commit him into the hands of the God who never slumbers nor sleeps”, was her counsel. “Take him to the Lord in prayer and leave him there.”
My worrying about SIDS did not make my son any safer each night. It provided me with a false sense of ‘doing something’ about my concern since I was expending much energy over it. But in reality, my worrying did nothing to help him breathe all night long.
So Jesus asked, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” – (Matthew 6:27). Your worrying does not solve the problem, it does not ameliorate the situation. Quite the contrary. Rather than contributing something valuable to the circumstance, it clouds your judgment, diminishing your discernment, and renders you less capable of handling the stressor – whatever the stressor may be.
You are worried about your finances. You are worried about your education. You are worried about your children. You are worried about your marriage. You are worried about your health. You are worried about the state of the world and the long-term effects of this COVID-19 pandemic. You are worried about the future and about where to go from here. You are worried about worrying too much. It never stops!
Here’s what Ellen White has to say:
“When we take into our hands the management of things with which we have to do, and depend upon our own wisdom for success, we are taking a burden which God has not given us, and are trying to bear it without His aid. We are taking upon ourselves the responsibility that belongs to God, and thus are really putting ourselves in His place. We may well have anxiety and anticipate danger and loss, for it is certain to befall us. But when we really believe that God loves us and means to do us good we shall cease to worry about the future. We shall trust God as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear, for our will is swallowed up in the will of God.” -Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 100, 101 (1896).
In a sinful world, we can be sure that challenging situations will arise. Worldly wisdom says the best way to be prepared for any calamity is to educate ourselves as much as possible – forewarned is forearmed. But when it comes to producing peace in the midst of the storm, knowledge is ineffective. The only forearming that is efficacious is to develop an abiding trust in the God who holds the minutest atom to the vast expanses of the universe in His hands. Thankfully, He is still in control!
Sikhu Daco is the Senior Editorial Assistant for inVerse – a new young adult Bible study curriculum developed by the GC Sabbath School Department. For over a decade, she worked in secular campus ministry after receiving her BA in Biochemistry and French. She also holds a MA in Religion with an emphasis in Systematic Theology from Andrews University. As a panelist on Hope Channel’s inVerse Bible discussion show, she gets to engage in her two passions for Bible study and ministry to young adults. Sikhu and her husband, Archie, have three boys, ages 4, 2, and 9 months.
Have you struggled with faith in times of crisis? Have you struggled with learning how to trust when all circumstances and all feelings seem to indicate that there is no good solution available for you? Why not ask God to give you more confidence and a stronger faith in His promises?
ACTIVE HEART CHALLENGE:
Worry, anxiety, stress, these are natural reactions when we are faced with difficult, uncontrollable situations. Think about your life, and your family. What are some things that make you worry for them? What are scenarios that cause you to be fearful?
Now open your Bible and try to find scriptures and stories that promise you peace and strength from God. Read them, write them out, memorize them, and believe them. Is there really anything that our God cannot handle?
Going Deeper – Additional Reading Suggestions for this week:
- “Peace, Be Still“, (Desire of Ages, ch. 35) by Ellen G. White
“Surrender ? The Secret to Perfect Peace & Happiness” – by Gregory L. Jackson
- Pastor H.: Thank you very much for your prayers! My cousin and his wife are better now.
- An individual gave a substantial donation to help literature evangelists around the world during this time of crisis. Literature evangelists are finding new and creative ways to reach people with spiritual books despite the lockdowns!
- Pray – for more faith and truth in God, especially during this time of crisis.
- Pray – for God’s blessing on members who are operating taxis in Panama City, using them as mobile centers of influence.?Half of Panama’s citizens live in Panama City.
- Pray – for the upcoming Adventist Women Ministries small group evangelism in the Western Nigeria Union.
- Pray – for your immediate and extended family members. Pray for those who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior yet to be drawn to Him and be converted.?