I suppose that every parent has a different way of dealing with their child’s fear. My mom taught me to sing.
At the age of seven, I was playing outside one evening when my five year old sister, Janna, suffered an asthma attack. It was the first time I can remember feeling that kind of fear. I can remember her pale little face as she lay on the couch while my mom frantically dialed 9-1-1 and then my dad. Living in a rural area where finding the correct address can be difficult, I was sent to the end of our driveway with a flashlight to signal where the ambulance should turn. I remember tensely gripping the flashlight as I waited- alone and terrified- for flashing lights. So I started to sing the song that my mom had been singing to a limp Janna as I’d left the house, “He’s got the whole world in His hands…”
After a few days in the hospital, Janna was fine. She eventually outgrew her asthma. She’s a beautiful woman, talented athlete and gracious wife at twenty-three years of age. She’s also sick. I don’t have the answers to what ails her and at this point, neither do her doctors. Hopefully, tests tomorrow should provide some insight or at least begin to rule illnesses out. Driving to the grocery store today my heart was gripped again by fear. There are too many “what if’s.” So I started to sing, “He’s got the whole world… He’s got you and me sister in His hands…” and the memory above surfaced.
The phrase “in His hand” has meant much to me in recent years. If you’ve received a note from me, there’s a good chance that it was so signed. It’s scrawled inside my Bible, typed as the banner on my cell phone, and tucked away on a post-it in my wallet. It reminds me that I’ve been rescued from sin, gripped by grace, uplifted by blessing, sustained in difficulty, and empowered by His Spirit. In His hand: the only place I’m safe, the only place where I find joy, the place I long to abide. It’s also where Janna remains for today and every tomorrow. May it be your dwelling place too.