Fear



Have you ever been afraid? I have, many times. When I was a little girl, my sister and I shared a room. We were both afraid of our dark bedroom. When the lights were on everything was fine, but as soon as the light went out and we were in bed, the shadows turned into forms that scared us. We thought we had a ghost in our room. The shadows took on weird shapes, and we just knew there was a ghost in the corner. We would cry out to our father to come and rescue us from the ghost. “Dad!” “Dad!” we would yell. He would come running, thinking we were hurt or sick. He would open the door to see two girls hiding under the covers crying, “There is a ghost!”

This went on for many nights. Finally, our dad was so exasperated, which means irritated and angry, with us he decided to "kill the ghost." We pointed and told him where the ghost was. He punched the wall and said he killed the ghost. We girls were so relieved! Now we could sleep in peace because our big, strong dad had killed the ghost so it could not harm us. Are ghosts real? No, of course not! We were silly girls. We loved and trusted our dad so much that when he said he killed the ghost we believed him. Did he really kill the ghost? No he didn’t because they are not real.

Do you know where Australia is? It is a continent between the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. 




Kangaroos live in Australia, it is their natural habitat. Lowana, which means girl, lives in Australia. She is a baby kangaroo or joey. Let me tell you a little about kangaroos. Kangaroos are large mammals with small heads, large ears that stand up, short front legs, large back legs, and large tails. Red, grey or occasionally white are what colors God made for them. They hop on their back legs to get around. They stand upright and can be as tall as a man. They can hop up to speeds of 25 mpg for a little over a mile at a time. Their comfortable speed is 13-16 mpg. They can swim well and are known for standing up and "boxing" an opponent. They eat plants, mostly grass, making them herbivores. They chew their cud and their stomachs are similar to cows. Females have a pouch on their tummies to hold their babies.

After kangaroos are born, they stay entirely in their mother’s pouch until they are about 6 months old. Then they will stick their head out to discover their world around them or their environment. After they reach about 7 ½ months old, they are old enough to leave their mother's pouch and will not return to it.

Lowana is 6 months old, and she has never looked outside the pouch. Her mommy tries to coax her little head out of the pouch to have a look around. Coax means to persuade or urge. Little Lowana shakes her head and starts trembling, creeping further down in the pouch.

Inside the pouch it is warm and very comfy. Lowana can hear her mother’s heart beat and recognizes her voice. Those things are familiar to her because she has heard them all her life.  She loves to hear those soothing noises. She can also hear other sounds outside of the pouch. She doesn’t know what they are and is too afraid to look out and see.

Every day, Lowana’s mommy speaks softly and bends over to peer inside the pouch at Lowana. She asks Lowana to take a peek, or look, out of the pouch. Lowana always responds the same way with shaking her head, squeezing far into the pouch, and trembling.

After a week of this, mommy kangaroo asks Lowana why she will not even look outside the pouch. Lowana says she is afraid of all the things she hears out there. She says she feels safe and warm inside the pouch. Mommy says there is nothing to harm her. She describes the beautiful, bright, and sweet smelling world. The noises she hears are birds, animals, water lapping at the bank, and wind rustling through the trees. She tries to describe it, but to someone who has never seen it before, it is hard to do. Her mommy tells her about the amazing colors and explains that the other kangaroos want to meet her. Still trembling, Lowana says, “No!” while squeezing her eyes tightly closed.

Five more days go by and finally Lowana’s mommy is able to coax Lowana to peek out. Lowana stretches her neck until first her ears poke out then the top of her head and finally her eyes peek out. Her eyes are enormous, or very large, in her little head because she is so frightened. She quickly scans her surroundings, and just as quickly, her head pops back inside the pouch. Breathing hard, Lowana is trembling again. Her mommy leans over and asks, “That wasn’t so bad was it?”

Lowana replies, “It hurt my eyes and I got chills.”

Mommy says, “That is the bright sun I told you about and the wind blew across your fur making you have a chill. Both of those things are good things and will not hurt you. Someday those things will seem natural and comfortable to you. Wait and see.”

The next day Lowana kept her face out a little longer. She didn’t mind the warmth of the sun nor the slight breeze. She saw for the first time grass, flowers and trees. Not knowing what they were, she asked her mommy. Mommy patiently explained everything she saw. She practiced saying the names of everything. It was beautiful, she had to admit to herself. This went on for a few days, and each day she looked out a little longer than the last.

One day, Lowana’s mommy said she wanted Lowana to meet other kangaroos. She agreed. Lowana met all sizes of kangaroos, and they all looked similar to her mommy. They ranged from very tall ones to small joeys peeking out of their mommy’s pouches. She took careful notice of some joeys who were hopping around close to their mommies.

A few days went by and Mommy told Lowana she needed to get out of the pouch and play with the other joeys. This really frightened Lowana. She didn’t want to get out of the pouch. She was happy just looking at things. She felt safe and secure in the pouch. She was content to look and listen but stay safely inside the pouch.

Lowana’s mommy kept trying to get her to come out on her own. Finally, exasperated with Lowana, she reached in and pulled her out! Lowana was so surprised she let out a squeal and started shaking. She was shaking so much mommy had to hold her upright until the trembling stilled. Then she let go. Lowana stood on her legs for the first time! She hadn’t realized how nice it would feel. She felt a little wobbly at first but soon felt confident standing there. 



That night, she thought about being outside and how wonderful it felt. She loved to stand and stretch. She realized how crowed the pouch was getting to be. She was getting too big for the pouch.

The next day, she was able to hop around and that felt wonderful. Soon she was hopping around with the other joeys. She was the oldest and therefore the tallest because she had stayed in her pouch so long before venturing out.

After a few weeks, she was hopping, playing, feeding upon grass, and learning to balance on her strong tail. She was now ready to live completely outside the pouch. Lowana said to mommy, “I wonder what I was so afraid of. It is so beautiful out here, and I have so much fun! I love to hop, play, and eat grass. I love to swim in the lake and watch other animals in my world.” Mommy was proud of Lowana for being brave and learning to not be afraid.


That night, she thought about being outside and how wonderful it felt. She loved to stand and stretch. She realized how crowed the pouch was getting to be. She was getting too big for the pouch.



The next day, she was able to hop around and that felt wonderful. Soon she was hopping around with the other joeys. She was the oldest and therefore the tallest because she had stayed in her pouch so long before venturing out.



After a few weeks, she was hopping, playing, feeding upon grass, and learning to balance on her strong tail. She was now ready to live completely outside the pouch. Lowana said to mommy, “I wonder what I was so afraid of. It is so beautiful out here, and I have so much fun! I love to hop, play, and eat grass. I love to swim in the lake and watch other animals in my world.” Mommy was proud of Lowana for being brave and learning to not be afraid.
Christmas is coming, and you may be able to participate in a special program, song, play, or recital. Be brave, be yourself, and do your best!

Some of you may be afraid of something, like I was afraid of shadows in my room and Lowana was afraid to leave her pouch. The Lord wants us to trust him. He wants us to call on Him to get us through those things. I remember praying with my parents at night when I had a bad dream. I always felt better and calm enough to go back to sleep. When I am afraid now as an adult, I still pray and ask Jesus to help me. He always does! Jesus said in the Bible, Hebrews 13:5b for He Himself said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” so we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalm 91:5a says, You shall not be afraid of the terror by night…Psalm 23:4b I will fear no evil for You are with me. Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid? The Bible tells us to be courageous. Joshua 1:6a Be strong and of good courage… So, the next time you are afraid of something, remember to call out to Jesus because He will help you.

I hope you enjoyed this story and it was an encouragement to you.

Memorize:  Psalm 23:4b I will fear no evil for You are with me.

Verses in NKJ unless otherwise stated. 



 





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