As like many of you, I don’t remember a ton from my days growing up, but there are distinct memories that have stayed with me my entire life. There are moments of joy and laughter, but also moments of fears and tears. I remember waking up in the middle of the night as a young girl crying because of the song “Puff the Magic Dragon”. Go ahead laugh. But even from an early age, I was aware what the words meant. This little boy forgot his friend. That thought to me was traumatizing, and pretty tragic. That wasn’t the only time I cried over that song either, specifically these verses:
“A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant’s rings make way for other toys.
One gray night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more.
And Puff, that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.
His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane
Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave
So Puff, that mighty dragon, sadly slipped into his cave.”
I remember working at a toy store and having to go into the back room one day to cry, because I heard the song on the store radio system, and then as a teen having to leave the dining hall at camp because they started singing the song. I stayed in the hallway and cried until I could compose myself enough to return to my table. Pretty recently I actually asked my mom if I had lost a friend when I was younger because of the deep sadness I feel when I hear those words.
I am not sure how I was able to understand the concept but at a young age I understood fear. I still understand that fear. Fear of my loved ones not being there. Fear of abandonment. Fear of disappointment. Fear of being forgotten, just like the dragon.
These fears can still show up in my life and can cloud how I view situations. These are fears that can cause anxiety and moments where it’s hard to catch my breath. These are fears that would fester and grow if I let them, and at times be immobilizing.
And just like I remember things that cause fear, I remember what increases faith. I remember times watching my dad tip over out of a canoe, but being okay because he knew how to swim. Or the time that he almost fell off the framework for our roof, but he didn’t because the framework caught him just right. Or the time that I was afraid for him to go outside after a storm knocked down the big tree that was outside our house, but he went outside and he was okay because the storm was over.
And just like even though I feared, my dad was always okay, I can remember faith, and the times that He never let me fall. I can remember the times that He never abandoned me, even when I probably deserved it. I remember the times He was there, even if I acted like He wasn’t. I remember that His faithfulness has trampled fear because He overcame death. I remember His everlasting hope, that He never fails, and His word has never returned void, and it never will.
for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Which will you grow? Fears that lead to corruption, or with faith? When I get caught up in my fears, I give them room to grow. Fear can grow fast, cloud our view of the Son, and threaten to steal our joy. Fears that can make me leave a room so no one can see me ugly crying because of “Puff the Magic Dragon”. When we focus on faith though, we don’t fall in the pit of fear, we trip into the arms of Jesus and our trust and faith in Him grows.
As I have been working through this trust thing this week (and I am sure that I will be doing this for quite some time), He has continues to remind me that He will never abandon me (or you). He proved that by abandoning one thing. The grave. The grave that reminds me that there is no room for fear, when we trust in Jesus. The grave that reminds me that Hope grows when we trust in Him. The grave that reminds me that death was defeated by a Love that never forsakes, only redeems.
Tonight as I tucked Charlie into bed I assured him that we would never leave him, that we would be there when he woke up, and that we would always be there for him. He threw himself into my arms in the biggest hug he has given me in awhile. I could only imagine that hearing my words felt like it feels for me when I know that I know that I know that my God will never leave me. This is the kind of faith and trust that I want to have in my God.
What seeds grow? Fear of faith? What will you grow? As you put your faith in Him, watch as your trust grows, and you fear less.