I have been afraid of birds for as long as I can remember. I'm not exactly sure when or why the fear began, but I know the fear is real. Sparrows, chickens, it doesn't matter which one, all flying, feathered creatures tend to freak me out. So, needless to say a few weeks ago when my son needed to deliver his turkeys to the butcher, I wasn't the first to volunteer.
A few miles down the road, the cardboard started to move. My scream was followed by my boys' laughs. I could see the turkeys flapping their big wings in my rearview mirror as Jed informed me one was sitting on his lap. My heart was racing and my muscles were tight. I simply focused on driving, wanting the trip to end.
About half way there, Jesse says to me, "Look mom, you're afraid of nothing. You're just singing your favorite song." His words had my attention. He was right - in that moment I had peace. Ryan Stevenson's, "Eye of the Storm" was on the radio and I was singing along. More importantly my focus had changed...it was no longer on my fear, but the object of my faith. I was singing about the One who remains in control and guards my soul. God is my anchor. He loves me, protects me and has a plan for me. Like Ryan sings, "I find my peace in Jesus' name."
I was so grateful for my little man's observation. I pray it impacts his faith and I know it has strengthened mine. The song had come to an end, but God had my attention. He clearly taught me a lesson and reminded me of an important truth.
Colossians 3:2 says, "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."
Hebrews 12:2s tells us to, "fix our eyes on Jesus" while Isaiah 26:3 says, "You (God) will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you."
Clearly, God's Word tells us who and what should be the focus of our thoughts. When we live this out, even in the midst of our fears, we have peace.
As I shifted my focus from the ones with feathers I feared to the all powerful God in whom I have faith, my whole attitude changed. Truths about my heavenly Father came to mind, His Spirit filled me and another verse brought perspective. Hebrews 13:6 spoke to my heart - "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" Surely, God can protect me from turkeys as well!!
I can't say that I'll volunteer for this job again, but the last half of our journey was more enjoyable that the first. I relaxed and appreciated a unique experience with my little boys. I'm pretty sure I'll always remember Jed saying, "Mom, it would be funny if you got stopped by a cop for having too many passengers!!"
Now after sharing the story, I hope I don't forget the truth Jesse helped me see. And friend, I pray the same is true for you. I've wrestled with some parenting fears this weekend and have some health ones as well, but no matter what the storm or fear we face I know God can and will be our anchor. The question is - will we focus on Him or our fear?