For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.” – Romans 8:15 (NIV)
“Dad, there’s a stink bug in my room, come get it!” I heard these words recently exclaimed by my youngest son, Christian. Christian has a fear of stink bugs, a phobia actually. Last year a note was sent home with him from school asking my wife and I work with Christian to relinquish this fear. It seems he had seen a stink bug in one of the restrooms at school and was refusing to use that particular restroom. This could be particularly inconvenient depending upon where he was in the school when nature came calling.
Upon hearing Christian’s cries for help, I entered his room. I did not rebuke him for his fear, but gently reminded him, “Christian, you’re much bigger than the stink bug.” I never did find the offending insect, but Christian’s concerns seem to dissipate with my mere presence in the room.
This seemly random brush with an elusive stink bug became an object lesson for me yesterday. My staff and I are conducting an internal review of a process in preparation for an important outside review. At the end of the work day, one of my managers shared with me some unfavorable findings of her review. I would need to self-disclose the findings with the parties conducting the outside review as well as my manager. As l was walking in the parking lot to leave my office, a wave of fear swept over me. I was certainly not happy to learn the news of the findings and I knew my manager would not be happy when I shared the news with him.
God brought to my remembrance the encounter with Christian and stink bug. In my spirit God uttered to me similar words that I had said to Christian, “Kerry you’re much bigger than this current fear you’re facing which in the grand scheme of things has the magnitude of a stink bug.” I was reminded that if I’m bigger than my fear, that God is certainly bigger that it and me. When it comes to the cares of life they all appear like bugs to God. Isaiah 40:22 states, “He [God] sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.”
As my son, Christian was comforted by my presence as his father even though the stink bug he feared was never removed. I needed to be reminded that even if God does not remove the current problem I’m facing, that simply his presence in my life is sufficient to remove the fear associated with it.