“Mommy, are we safe from a mass shooting?”
I paused to collect my thoughts as my 12-year-old daughter inquired.
She continued, “I heard someone shot a lot of people and am wondering if we are safe. Will God protect us?”
Scrambling for the right words to comfort my daughter’s mind, I took a deep breath and took hold of her arm and drew her in for a mommy’s hug that no one can duplicate.
I explained these things happen because not only is God real, but evil is also real – very real. The shooting in Las Vegas was proof that evil wars for our very lives. Evil strives to steal our future, our present, our joy, our security and our very hope that God is victorious over everything.
Situations like Las Vegas instill fear in us – fear that God could have intervened but chose not to. That fear causes us to question a good God, who mourns with us.
My daughter, listening intently, asked, “Are you scared?”
I said, “Sometimes. But when I feel scared I go to the word of God for what it says about fear.”
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
1 John 4:16 tells us that God IS love, so when we see when we are focused on the Lord, fear has to flee.
“So,” she said, “we don’t have to fear when we are focused on God?”
“Something like that,” I answered. “It is not that we don’t have moments of fear, but fear doesn’t have to dominate us when we know that God is victorious over our fear and even more than that, our lives.”
For God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7 says.
One of our human responses after an event like this is to fear, but we need to quickly focus on the God that overcame evil on the cross through Jesus His Son.
My daughter looked at me grateful for the explanation and grabbed her cell phone and began texting. I was so grateful that she came to me with her fear, and I was able as her mother to point her to the Lord.
As parents, we cannot put our heads in the sand and pretend we don’t live in a world of uncertain times, but we must explain, to the best of our ability, how to respond to uncertain times. Our job is to train and arm our children with truth so that they know the next time something like this happens what to do with their fear. We must confront it, not ignore it.
My husband and I are intentional about communication with our children. We are truthful with responses, and we confront hard issues when they present themselves. We always point them to our unchanging God who has been victorious. In a world that wants to influence your children, I encourage you to be intentional about communicating truth to them, before it has a chance.
Autumn Miles is the author of “Appointed: Your Future Starts Now” and the founder and CEO of The Blush Network, a conference ministry dedicated to spiritually challenging the way women think. Autumn is an accomplished speaker who leads women’s conferences nationwide through The Blush Network. She is also the host of “The Autumn Miles Show,” a Christian radio show on Salem Radio Network in Dallas, Texas and sits on the advisory council for the women’s ministry department at Liberty University.