Throughout the Bible, God promises to give us strength.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened.” (Joshua 1:9)
“Fear not….for I am your God; I will strengthen you.” (Isaiah 31:10)
And yet, we are afraid. We fear the storms, we fear change, we fear we're not good enough, we fear the unknown. And, because we fear giving up control, we don’t turn to God. He promises to be our strength, but we are too afraid to let go.
If this is what we face, imagine what fear is like for the kids at the Ranch. Their fears are deeply entrenched by years of unimaginable traumas, in some cases, caused by the very people who were supposed to love and protect them.
At the Ranch, we give children a place to turn when they are afraid. Yes, we stand strong and support them so they can turn to us, but most importantly, we show them the path to God and his ever-loving strength. One 13-year-old girl told me she didn’t know how to pray until she came to the Ranch. She said, “Now, when I am too afraid to fall asleep, I pray, and God helps me sleep.”
God doesn’t sprinkle fairy dust over this precious child. He doesn’t give her a magic pill or cast a sleeping spell over her. He gives her His strength and peace. He quiets the fears so her body can let go of the need to be alert for danger. The strength and peace she receives from God allows her to sleep.
Rev. Derek Harkins, a pastor and a Ranch board member, recently wrote about fear in his blog, "Waking Up." He was reflecting on Jesus’ response to the disciples in Mark 4:35-41 when Jesus calmed the storm. He ends his poem with these words.
“Why are you afraid?
I am with you.
I love you.
You are mine.
Peace. Be. Still.”
Keep these words close to your heart, and draw upon them when you need God’s strength.
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