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A first-grade teacher seated her students in a circle. She asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up.

One by one, each child got up and announced “I’d like to be a nurse like my mother,” or “I’d like to be a banker like my father,” or “I want to be a teacher like you, Miss Smith.”

Facing fears…

The last child to speak was the shyest and timid boy in the class. He said, “When I get big, I’m going to be a lion tamer in the circus. I’m going to face those animals with my whip and chair and make them leap through hoops of fire and obey all my commands!”

Seeing the shock and disbelief on the faces of his classmates, he was quick to reassure them, “Well, you know, I’d have my mother with me.”

Facing fears when…

Having someone “with me” can make all the difference:

  • for an infant who’s cranky

  •  for a preschooler away from home for the first time

  • for an 8-year-old going down into the basement

  • for a frightened teen who discovers she’s not as popular as she thinks

  • for a college student who’s gotta stay awake and study

  • for a company department rookie after a disappointing review

  • for a man stuck in a mid-life crisis despite his insistence he’s not

  • for a health nut diagnosed with a disease

  • for anyone who is dying

Facing fears with…

What these people need to realize is that our Savior — who lived for us, died for us, rose again for us, and now rules over us in love — has made a promise to always be with them. “Surely I am with you always,” He reassures us, using his familiar “I am” tag to put his promise into an ongoing, always true, never ceasing form.

With me now. With me anywhere. With me forever. With me with his forgiving pity. With me with his loving concern. With me with his genuine understanding. With me with his watchful eyes, his scarred back and hands, his determined path, his protective power.

Shock your friends, and perhaps first your own uncertainty, by telling them what you can do. With Jesus.

Prayer: Wherever I go, Jesus, you are there. With me. However I feel, Jesus, you know about it. With me. Whenever I am tempted to act as if you can’t see, please stay. With me. Remind me that you are there. Watching. Helping. Cheering. Knowing. Listening. Guiding. Amen.

Source: Joel Schulz, pastor at Divine Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool in Delray Beach, FL