Friday, June 26
My five-year-old son, Shiloh, has had three brushes with death. And those are just the ones I know about.
He is fearless. I know this will benefit him later in life, but for now, this quality mostly serves to give us heart palpitations. It also has us questioning our ability to keep him safe.
The last of these brushes was when he was two years old. At a pool party, somebody yelled, “Where’s Shiloh?!” I scanned the backyard and realized that the only place he could be was in the pool. I jumped in to find him staring up at me from the bottom. Just a few seconds more and things would’ve ended differently.
A year before that on one Saturday afternoon, the doorbell rang. At the door were two strangers holding him asking me, “Is this your son?” While driving down my street they saw Shiloh walking straight towards them. If that driver had not been careful, this story would have been different.
These unforeseen moments of danger are every parent’s greatest fear. In these moments, thoughts like, “I am a bad parent.” or “How could I let this happen?” consume me.
As parents, we carry the weight of having sole responsibility for the safety of our children. We think about their safety in every aspect of their lives. But this constant effort can be a source of parental anxiety, guilt and fear.
When I experience these feelings, I think of Shiloh’s first brush with death. It was just a few minutes after he was born. He was a blue baby, not getting oxygen to his brain, and it didn’t look hopeful. This was a danger I didn’t see coming and was powerless to do anything about it. At this moment I realized there was nothing I could do but pray.
I decided that no matter what happened, whether I would get to hold my son or be kissing him goodbye, I would trust God. As soon as I gave the situation to God, a peace washed over me.
God reminded me of the simple verse in Psalms 91:3 that says, “He will keep you safe from hidden dangers… “ This word from God gave me peace in one of my most anxious moments as a parent, and it’s something I need to remember. When I look back on each of Shiloh’s brushes with death, I can see the hand of God protecting him.
There will always be dangers we won’t see coming. We can choose to think of the worst-case scenario and live in fear or think of the countless times God has protected our kids without us even knowing, and give thanks. Let’s choose to give thanks!
Find peace in knowing that God loves our kids even more than we do and He can protect them better than we can. So please take some of the weight off. Remember this thought today and fearlessly love your fearless ones.
Jonathan Wilson, Youth Pastor
Jonathan has developed a strong passion to see high school and college students rise above the many negative influences in their world as they walk into the power of a relationship with Jesus. In his downtime, he loves nothing more than spending lazy Saturdays watching movies at home with his two sons Isaac and Shilo and beautiful wife, Angela.
Click on the image below for today’s BOREDOM BUSTER.