We were at a beautiful beach near Fort de Fleur-Epee in Guadeloupe when I first heard the screaming child. He couldn't have been more than 6 months old, just old enough to sit unsupported; and there he sat, screaming in fear, in about 3 inches of ocean water. Meanwhile, his father sat calmly by.
My first thought?
How can a good
father just sit by and watch while his child screams in fear?
afraid that something else caught my attention at that point, and I
didn't think anything more about the child and the ocean until the next
day when we happened upon a similar scenario. We were walking along a
tropical beach in Ste-Anne, Guadeloupe, when again my attention was
drawn to a screaming child. This time it was a baby girl, and she
couldn't have been more than a year old. She was being held in her
mother's arms, but her mother was standing waist-deep in ocean water,
and the breaking of the gentle waves sent sprays of seawater over the
My first thought?
Again...How can that
mother, no matter how protectively she was holding her child, just stand
by and watch her baby scream in fear?
That's when I remembered
the screaming boy with his father the day before; but alas, my attention
was then diverted to something else and it wasn't until later that day
that both incidences were brought back to mind. We were walking along
yet another pristine tropical beach on the shores of Guadeloupe when yet
another screaming child caught my attention. This was a baby boy who was
likely under 6 months of age. He was also being held by his mother while
she sat in the shallow water of the shoreline. Although she was
obviously protective of her child, she seemed completely oblivious to
the fact that each ocean spray caused him to scream even louder in
That's when God began to speak to me. You see, these
were obviously loving parents. They were all right there protecting
their babies. The reason they didn't remove their children from the
source of fear is that they knew something the babies did not know. They
knew the water wouldn't hurt their precious little ones. They knew that
the fear in their babies was completely ungrounded, and that the fear of
the ocean would only stand in the way of their safety, their fun, maybe
even their livelihoods, as many in Guadeloupe are fishermen. They knew
that the only way to help their dear little ones overcome their fear of
water was...to expose them to it! And so they sat, all three loving
parents, oblivious to the screaming of their babies...
I am so
often just like those three babies. I have fears: Will I have enough
money? What if I miss the bus? What will I do if something happens to my
spouse? What would my family without me if something happened to me? How
will I ever get all this work done? What will I do if ____ gets mad at
me? How can I help ___ see that their fear is unfounded? What if I lose
my job? How can I _______________....
Have you been there?
Perhaps you are their right now?
If so, then you, too, can
emphasize with those three screaming babies. We don't like what we see
around us, we want to be away from the wind and the waves, and we don't
understand why our loving Heavenly Father doesn't just pick us up out of
the water and take us to safer, higher, dryer ground...
lesson that God really drove home for me from these ocean waves was
this: Our loving Heavenly Father knows that we are not in any real
danger. He is standing by to protect us from the really bad stuff, and
even to comfort us through the waves. He knows that our fears will only
stand in the way of a productive, faith-filled life, and will keep us
from truly experiencing the freedom and joy He has for each of us. He
also knows that in time we will learn to trust Him in the midst of the
ocean waves, and so He allows us to "sit" in the "water" of trials for a
time. But all the time He is there with His protective arms around us,
with His protective hand on us, ever ready to sweep us away should any
real danger arise.
Oh, what a loving heavenly Father we have!
Prayer: Father God, may I stop wishing away the trials of life.
May I stop fearing them. May I put my faith in You and You alone, ever
knowing that You will carry me through, and in the process, may I learn
to trust in Your unfailing, everlasting love.
Feeling like a
Remember the Truth of Romans 5:3-5: "Not
only so, but we also glory in our
sufferings, because we know that
suffering produces perseverance; perseverance,
character; and character, hope. And
hope does not put us to shame, because
God's love has been poured out into our
hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has
been given to us." (NIV)
Take a step back and trust
Your Heavenly Father who is right there carrying you through. Trust Him
to know what is best for you. Trust Him to teach you the lessons you
need in life. Just...trust Him!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.