I Want My Child To See Horses And Chariots Of Fire.
Hopefully this isn’t one of those things she looks back on years from now and is mad at me for writing, but our middle child, Clara, is fearful. I’ve known this to some degree for quite some time, but just began understanding how deeply it affects her. I began putting the pieces together when I realized having a meltdown and refusing to greet her daddy in the driveway wasn’t defiance. She is terrified of his truck, because it’s loud. When she threw hysterical fits when I tried to make her learn to walk it was because she was afraid of falling. When huge tears fill her eyes every time I step out of the room it’s because she is terrified she won’t see me again. I could go on for quite some time listing her fears: the dark, bumpy roads, heights, and more. Like I said, I recognized those fears in her a while back, but didn’t fully understand the far-reaching affects it was having on her behavior. My precious, sensitive, hilarious little girl is driven by fear.
I fully believe God gave me that insight into our baby girl so that we can train her to walk in faith rather than fear. More importantly, I believe He revealed her fear so that we can pray more specifically, which is why I am rejoicing in the word I heard from the LORD through His Word. As I was reading, this familiar passage took on a new light as I saw it in relation to our Clara.
“’Don’t be afraid!’ Elisha told him. ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!’ The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”2 Kings 6:16-17
Elisha recognized the fear in his young companion. He didn’t ridicule him for being afraid. He didn’t dismiss the fear. He didn’t deny that there was a threat. He simply spoke the comforting truth. After commanding the young man not to be afraid, Elisha could have ended there. He could have simply said “Don’t be afraid!”, implying that the young man should pick himself up by his bootstraps and get back in the saddle. I know I’m mixing my southern metaphors, but you get the idea. That isn’t where Elisha left off. He continued with a promise, “for there are more on our side than on theirs!” I’m sure the young man didn’t see the comfort in this promise immediately. In fact, he probably thought Elisha was insane. Thankfully, Elisha wasn’t finished.
The next thing Elisha did was pray. When Clara encounters a fear I’m usually tempted to take one of two paths. I either overindulge her by doting and making a big deal of the fear, or I act as if she should “woman up” and move on. Elisha didn’t take either of those paths. He dropped to his knees on behalf of the young man. One of the things I find interesting about this passage is that Elisha didn’t ask God to take the fear away. He asked God to reveal His power and greatness. My challenge to myself as a parent is to drop to my knees and ask God to reveal Himself to my baby girl.
The LORD Worked
The LORD heard Elisha’s prayer and answered with a resounding, “YES!” The passage says, “The LORD opened the young man’s eyes.” God was the one who did the work. Elisha couldn’t make the young man see. All Elisha could do was trust the God who could. This is yet another aspect of parenting I can’t control. God has to do a work in my toddler’s heart, so that she can understand the mighty and trustworthy character of God.
The Young Man Saw
After Elisha comforted, Elisha prayed, and the LORD worked, the young man finally saw! The passage says, “when he [the young man] looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” The young man was changed. Instead of being controlled by fear, He was controlled by God. He understood the omnipresent, omniscient, all-powerful character of a faithful God. That is what I want for my Clara-girl. That is what I want for all believers, myself included, who struggle with fear. I want my child to see the God who wields horses and chariots of fire on her behalf, so that her fear is put into a God-given perspective.