I was a nervous kid growing up.
So bad that I remember getting stomach ulcers at a young age. I remember drinking a thick white liquid substance and then being tested. My mom ended up leaving her job and staying home. I don’t know all of the reasons how that helped, but my fear issues were a factor.
I cried every day for the first week or two in second grade, and my mom had to come in. I’m not going to take all the blame on this one, though. My older cousins had this same teacher and horrified me with stories of fingers being hit by rulers and chalk being thrown by the teacher.
That’s all it took for this weak second grader to cry every day.
Now I’m a 40-year-old man with no fear, right? Wrong. My worries have matured. I don’t cry every day going to work but what you can’t see in the depths of my wrestling stomach is still that same old second-grade fear.
That is why my second-grade son’s comment, this last week, encouraged my heart and made me a proud father.
I put the kids down to bed and retreated upstairs for peace and quiet.
Parents may have different routines, but almost all of them will include the child asking for a drink or coming up with a million questions to stay awake and make sure you don’t leave. So when you answer the last question and finish watering your children that turned into camels at bedtime, you know that feeling of AHHHHH, as you finally lay in bed.
Anyways, back to my story.
I had retreated upstairs and laid down to relax when we realized there was a package outside our front door that we hadn’t brought in. Yes, it was lovely Scentsy products for incredible people that decided to add a slight fragrance to their house, car, or pet dog. (Commercial over)
The trip to the front door takes me right by my boy’s bedroom.
Sure enough, “Hey, dad,” sounded from their room as I snuck by. It was Elijah, my second-grader.
This time he wasn’t asking for a drink or the plans for tomorrow.
In my absence, Elijah’s mind was reflecting on a song we had been singing around our house. A song we sang together a few hours earlier while heading home from church.
It’s called “He Will Hold Me Fast” by Selah.
It’s a song that has touched my heart, and I was about to learn how it had touched his.
“Hey, Dad?” he said.
“What is it, Elijah? You need to go to sleep.”
“I was thinking, the next time someone tells me they’re scared, I’m going to remind them, “He will hold you fast.”
Tears filled my eyes as I walked back up the stairs.
My second-grade son didn’t realize, but he wasn’t going to have to wait to find someone who was scared. He was looking one in the eyes.
Covered with false confidence and adult responsibilities is that same scared second-grade boy viewing life as an angry teacher with a thick ruler and a handful of chalk who needed this simple reminder.
He will hold you fast.
If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.
I love to know the history of songs, so I dug and found a great site with pictures and the history of this song. If you love backstories–here’s the link.
This post was first posted in my weekly newsletter. If you want to read more like this each Monday…subscribe here.