Midnight Screams

“If I scream, will you come to my room?”

The first time my son asked me this question, I said “no.”  He had awakened early due to a bad dream and my husband and I were trying to get him to go back to bed.  I didn’t want to encourage him to scream to get my attention.  In the past, he has yelled “mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!” until I am able to physically respond to him, which can take some doing in the wee hours of the morning.  I wanted him to learn to come to me when he wanted me.

The second time my son asked me the same question, it was before he went to bed.  I finally realized what he was asking.  He didn’t want permission to yell for me in the middle of the night.  He wanted to know that if he was overcome with fear of the darkness and the shadows of nightmares, and he called out to me, that I would come to him.  Whether he needed me or not, he wanted to know that I would be there.  Only when I answered in the affirmative did he have the courage to return to bed alone. 

As Providence would have it, I read the 71st psalm just this week.  Verse 12 says, “Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me.”  The psalmist, too, was afraid, apparently for his life, and called out to his Heavenly Parent.  “When I scream, will you come to me?”

The Bible says that when we call to God, He will come (Jeremiah 29:12). Unlike me, He doesn’t worry about the manner we call-  whether it is a scream, a cry, a whisper, or an inward groaning.  He doesn’t want us to be afraid.  He wants us to rest in the assurance that He will take care of us, and knows what is best for us. 

It’s almost 7:00 now, and my son has slept through the night.  He didn’t need me to be there for him this time, even though his call would waken me from the deepest slumber.  If he asks me again tonight, whether I will come when he screams, I will assure him that I will come to him.  I don’t want him to be afraid.

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