My grandson, Will, fell down and hurt his head again.
He has a knot the size of a lemon on the back of his head. A large lemon.
I went over to Will’s home to see how he was doing. Each time Will falls and hurts his head, I grow anxious. I know the concern about concussions and Will has had his share. At age 5 this little guy’s head has endured more bumps and bruises than I dare count. This time, while playing basketball with his dad, his feet flew out from under him as he raced backwards to catch a ball and he whacked his head on the pavement. Hard.
The decision was made to watch him and not panic. His parents had been through this before. But around 11 PM, they were on their way to the ER. Will was in serious pain. Throwing up. His eyes were not tracking.
Will does nothing halfway.
He is one of those kids who has no fear.
But I saw the fear in his dad’s eyes as he carried Will out to the car.
I heard the fear in his mom’s voice as she called to say they were hurriedly doing a cat scan to rule out bleeding, a life-threatening emergency.
I lay awake in bed fighting fear in my own heart. The updates were frightening. They suspected bleeding or a fracture. It turned out to be swelling of the occipital lobe due to a concussion. (A fracture has not entirely been ruled out yet however. It’s too hard to tell with the swelling.)
Will is not cautious.
He is a parent’s “nightmare.” He is gutsy and determined, with a gritty desire to push himself, which at times goes beyond reasonable limits. I pray that as he grows, he will gain reasonable caution yet never lose his vitality and drive. I never want to see him held back by fear and risk averseness. I don’t want to see him lose his courage.
Fear negates courage.
No other command shows up more often in the Bible than “fear not.” Fear moves a parent to overly manage and control their children. Fear motivates parents to raise up kids who are overly fearful and held back. Fear moves us away from trusting God.
As I waited for the news about Will, I prayed and searched for scripture to calm my own fears. (Had Glen been home, I may have bombarded him with my anxious thoughts but he had gone to the ER as well.) Peace came over me as I contemplated how it’s through troubles that God prepares and refines each of us. I sensed the Holy Spirit saying to me that God was preparing Will for his future – that our sovereign God who created Will, held this little guy in His hands and He was there with Will even during this circumstance.
Instead of growing more anxious, I prayed Isaiah 41:10 over Will.
“So do not fear, for I am with you (Will) and do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you (Will) with my righteous right hand.”
When my own kids were young, I tended to worry about their safety. In particular, I feared car wrecks in their teenage years. (What mother of a teen driver doesn’t) I assumed that when they grew up, I would be free of the anxiety I carried over them. But I found, instead, that circumstances that moved me to fear will be with me all of my life. As a grandparent, I could now very easily grow consumed by worry not merely over Erin, Troy and Alisa but also their spouses and my 11 grandkids!
So I am choosing to trust God instead. Life is really a series of calculated risks and we need a mindset of bravery in order to thrive in it.
Will had this. May he never lose it.