Wednesday, January 4, 2006
My friend John has a sick little boy on his hands. His son was only about three and he was having some serious respiratory problems. The little guy often woke up in the middle of the night gurgling and finding it hard to breathe. That's scary at any age and even scarier at three. During that siege, John stepped up to serious "daddying." Unbeknownst to little David, he set up a camp just outside the boy's door. Whenever David would cry out, John was there in a moment to help. Night after night, those frightened cries came out of the dark. And night after night, a father was there by the side of his frightened son. Well, little David was no dummy. He finally figured out how his Dad was getting there so quickly. He was right outside the door. So David just got out of bed, went out in the hall, and snuggled up next to his father. That was the end of the fearful cries in the night. He had found the best place to be when you're scared.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 'Next to Daddy' Difference."
Our word for today from the Word of God was written by a big David, as in the one who wrote so many Psalms and he's writing about some really big fears. The man who would become King of Israel one day is now running for his life. The current king wants his competition, David, dead. And the king himself is leading the effort to find David and have him killed. And David writes this 34th Psalm. He may well have been in some cave, hiding for his life, and that makes the words even more extraordinary.
Before I read his words, I want you to think about some of the uncertainties you're facing right now. Finish this sentence, "One thing I'm fearful of is that________." Little David would have said, "I won't be able to breathe." Big David might have said, "That I'll be found here and caught by the man who wants me dead." How about you? What are you anxious about right now? "I'm afraid that ________." "I'm anxious about ________." What is it?
Our word for today from the Word of God begins with Psalm 34:4, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." To make that your verse, put what you're afraid of in there, "He delivered me from all my fears about (there it is)." Now how can David have such peace in such life-threatening stress? He says, "Those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved Him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." Or, if you get close to Daddy, you can feel so much safer.
David snuggled with his Heavenly Father and he was able to relax. You can, too. You can taste the Lord and His goodness in dark times more than any other time. And your panic is slowly replaced by His presence. That can happen to you, even with that medical uncertainty, that job uncertainty, with losing someone you love, with your fear of failing. You may have a future full of question marks; a present that's full of pressures and dangers. But you may have lost your focus because you've been concentrating on the mountain rather than on the mountain mover!
Could it be that you've been neglecting your snuggle time with your Father? Ironically, the more stressful it gets, the more we tend to crowd out our time with our Heavenly Father. That's when we need Him most! When you are aware of God's closeness and power, of how totally competent He is to handle this threat, you relax and you respond with peace instead of panic. Without that strong sense of God nearby, you'll be a slave to your fears.
Little David's father was there all the time, but that didn't help until he recognized his father's closeness and actually got next to him. You need some regular, meaningful time with your Heavenly Father right now. A conscious sense of His powerful presence is the antidote to fear.
You'll discover again, as little David did in the middle of those scary nights, what a difference it can make to know that you are next to Daddy.