Last Monday, my son had to go to the doctor.
He was diagnosed with strep throat.
These days, with this diagnosis, the treatment is a shot of antibiotics--for those who are not allergic to it. Within hours, the treatment becomes effective, and within 12 hours or so, one is good to go. But that doesn't stop a kid from being terrified at receiving a shot.
As my son was waiting for his shot, my wife sent me a text, "He's being very brave."
I responded without hesitation, "Of course he is. He's my son."
A few moments later, my wife said, "That made him smile."
Of course it did--at least for now. Give the guy 10 years or so, and he may not claim his father for a while. Most kids go through that phase, but give him another six or seven years after that, and then I will once more be full of wisdom instead of other things--at least in his eyes.
As I thought about this little episode, I had another picture run through my head--the picture of a Heavenly Father who looks at us when we are facing times of fear and tribulation...
When we are facing difficult decisions...
When we are facing moments of truth in how we are called to act...
When we are facing moments of overwhelming grief...
When we are called upon to weather the storm...
And He whispers, "Do not be afraid. Have courage, for I am with you."
And lo and behold, a well of courage springs forth that we never knew we had. A well of strength swells up inside and stiffens our spine; makes us stand up a little straighter; and helps us walk with a lighter step.
Sure, we may not handle the situation perfectly. We still may shed tears. We may become a little distraught, but that strength guides us through. We make it to the other side.
Others take note. "She sure is brave! He sure is courageous! I wish I could endure like that!"
God simply smiles and says, "Of course she could; she is my daughter. Of course he is; he is my son. Of course you can; you are my child."
And for our part, we pray a prayer of thanksgiving, "Thank you, Father, for giving me what I needed to get through. I never would have been able to make it without You. On my own, I am nothing. With you, I have everything. Amen."