Setting sun and twinkling stars, glowing fireflies and open fields. There’s nothing quite like a Midwest summer night.
After the last bubbles circled the drain and we whispered the final page of Green Eggs and Ham, after we pulled the covers over two little boys and quietly shut the creaky door, we tiptoed into the backyard and spent our Friday night roasting marshmallows, listening to the fire pop and fizz as the tall canopy of trees gave us just a peek into the sparkling stars.
We live in town, but a town small enough that when the sun hides away, the only soundtrack is the breeze rustling through the trees, crickets chirping in the crevices.
The sky darkened. Chocolate dripped, graham crackers snapped. A busy day melted away into the campfire.
Until a little cry came from inside. A big cry, actually, coming from a little guy in footie PJs, standing in the hall. Jonny ran inside, finding Joseph awake and frightened from bad dream. He had snuck into our room, but got even more scared when we weren’t there.
Joseph collapsed into Jonny’s arms, big sobs taking over his little chest. Jonny scooped him up and squeezed him tight, reassuring our almost-four-year-old that Mommy and Daddy always come back, that we were just in the backyard, that he didn’t have to be scared.
It took awhile, but the sobs turned into sniffles that turned into snores. The fears that had been ignited faded away.
We’ve been talking now about being scared, but being brave because we know that God is with us. I’ve been reminding him that God loves us and that even thought we can’t see him, he is there. That God is so much bigger than whatever we’re afraid of.
He’s been belting out new favorite song from Veggie Tales: God is bigger than the boogeyman, he’s bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV. God is bigger than the Boogeyman, and he’s watching out for you and me.
That’s cute, right?
But do I really believe it? Do you?
Do we believe that God is bigger than our fears, our doubts, our trials? Do we actually trust him? Is he actually bigger?
Do we believe he goes before us, that he dwells within us, that he walks beside us?
What’s holding us back from living in the freedom that we can be strong and courageous, because he will never leave us or forsake us?
Today, take a minute to identify the monsters under your bed, the shadows lingering over your heart. What fears have brought you in the hallway, isolating you from the Father in heaven who’s in constant pursuit of your heart?
Trusting God isn’t easy. It’s a daily (sometimes hourly?) commitment of relinquishing that sense of control over to God’s much more capable hands. It’s shining a light on the dark spots and running into his strong arms — arms that we might have lost for a while, but have been there all along.
Is God bigger? Can we trust him with our doubts, our worries, our anxieties?
I think so. Let’s take heart — he is bigger. He has overcome the world, after all.