To a young friend at night

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

If you get scared at night sometimes, you're not the only one. Lots of people do.

My children are all grown up now. But when they were little, we moved from a house where they all slept in the same room to a house where they each had their own room. The first few nights, they were so scared that they all wanted to sleep together. But when they learned that God was with them, they stopped being afraid.

I remember being scared at night myself. I really don't remember what I did about it then except to pull the covers over my head!

But I know what I do about it when I get scared now. I pray. I try really hard to think about God, and to think about things He knows. He is not afraid of anything.

Isn't fear just a thought? You know, it isn't a thing like bubble gum stuck on your big toe! It's a thought that somebody bad is going to hurt us, or that we aren't safe, or that someone we trust isn't close enough to take care of us. Stuff like that.

But that's not the way God thinks about things. Something really cool about God is that He is good and makes everything good. Not only that, He knows everything is good. He really does. And you can, too.

Another thing is, God is present everywhere. I know there are a lot of things kids understand that adults don't get, but still it might be a little hard to really get that idea of God being everywhere. Here's a way to picture it: Even if you were an astronaut on a spaceship zipping through outer space at a million miles an hour, God would be there.

And you could pray to God there in space. If you were afraid because some computer was messing up, or if you missed someone you loved, you could pray. Even if you had a cold or something, you could pray. And God would be there to take care of you. He would help you know that because He is there, everything is OK.

An idea I've thought a lot about is that God is Love. That's in the Bible. And so is the promise that "there is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear" (I John 4:18, Good News Bible). And maybe you know that drives out means to make it leave.

I like those two things from the Bible because they comfort me. They remind me that God, or Love, forces everything scary to leave my thinking. And they do that by reminding me that God is good and everywhere, so danger is nowhere.

Here's another Bible verse I found just this week that says God "knoweth what is in the darkness" (Dan. 2:22). I never noticed that before. It says to me that no matter how dark it is when you go to bed, God knows that only good is there with you.

So, good has to be there with you right now. God loves you very much right now, right where you are, and there's nothing that can hurt you. You aren't by yourself, because God is with you, and there isn't any danger or any scary person where God is.

It's like one of the most famous sayings in the Bible: "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling" (Ps. 91:10).

So even if there are things going on in your neighborhood or in your home that others say are scary, you can be safe and help others feel safe because you know about God. He is our protector.

And if everything is just fine in your neighborhood and home, but you're still scared, you can think about these wonderful ideas, too. They will get rid of every thought that makes you afraid - like water washes peanut butter off your hands. Then you can sleep peacefully. God loves you right now so much that He makes you safe and keeps you safe.

GOOD night, my friend!

Father-Mother God,

Loving me,-

Guard me when I sleep;

Guide my little feet

Up to Thee.

Mary Baker Eddy

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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