I looked across the enclosure that housed the massive alligator we had marveled at just a few moments before. Movement caught my eye. I yelled as loud as I could across to my oldest son, who for whatever reason was walking AWAY from my two year old. Owen was playing on the rocks beside the swampy area of the enclosure. Johnny didn’t hear me yell to him. In those moments I had no other recourse but to jump the fence and run as fast as I could over to get him. On the way, I grazed the tail of the alligator and it startled and ran. When I reached the other side, I realized in horror that when I spooked the alligator its tail had come up and knocked Owen behind me. I turned just in time to see the gator attack him. I screamed a blood curdling scream as I watched my precious baby boy caught in the jaws of a creature that I could not stop. He looked at me and reached for me with terror in his eyes and all I could think was “He can see me, he is reaching for me. In the most horrible moment of his life he is looking to me for help and I cannot do anything to save him. But he thinks I can!” I knew that I was helpless and that I was betraying him, because he knew me as the one to turn to for help. The loss hit me like a train. Pain, agony, intense sorrow. I wanted my baby back. I wanted to tell him I was sorry. I wanted to start the day over. I was powerless and utterly worthless.
Then I woke up. Thank you God!!! I woke up! It was just a nightmare!
When I opened my eyes I was relieved. Part of me wanted to go back to sleep, though. I wanted to see Owen miraculously be saved some how. He was right there in the next room. I could hear him laughing and playing. It was almost as if going back to sleep and finishing the dream would prove it was one.
I knew exactly why I had the dream. The entire night had been filled with stress dreams. I realized that I was more worried than I had thought about recent events in our life.
There are times, maybe more times than not, when we have to sit back and watch our children walk through deep waters and we cannot do anything to rescue them. Sometimes we can come along side them and help comfort or offer advice. Ultimately, though, it is happening to them and we are sidelined. We need someone to fight these battles who is bigger than us and greater than the monsters we are facing.
Unfortunately our fear causes us to forget that we are missing an end of the story. Just like I felt the need to go back to sleep in hopes I would see a superhero save my baby, we need to remember that no matter what we are facing, the story isn’t over. We have a God who is working to save us and our children. He is bigger, faster, stronger, better, more powerful, omnipotent, loving, and willing. We need to teach our children not to only look to us for help but Christ in us and Christ without us too. We cannot be their savior, healer, or friend. We can only be instruments of God to them. We are not the superheroes. We don’t have to take on their world or fight their battles. We should be living in a way that when challenges come they look to us for directions to the God they have seen use us to comfort, guide, and love them. Just like Ruth following Naomi. They will want to be where we are and our God to be their God.
This is true for us, our relationships with our spouse, our kids, our friends, and our foster children who fight battles we cannot even relate to or even identify at times. We are to point them to the God who sees them. Who died for them, who experienced trama, abandoned by his father, punished and abused without deserving it, just like them. But He did it FOR them. We know the end of the story let’s live like it!!