To panic is to be attacked by sudden alarm, fear, and anxiety and to act out on it by slamming doors, running, or laying down the law. (my definition) Panicking is never quiet or sensible. It is often noisy and unreasonable. So, I think it is logical to call some of the chaos in our lives today panic. When we feel out of control with the way the world is turning; we feel helpless to improve the part we live in. Our tendency is to make more rules and boundaries to prevent more bad stuff from happening.
Panic for a Christian is kinda worse I think. We are supposed to have something more that helps us face each storm or upheaval. We are not supposed to lose it. Right? But we do and its because we forget the power we have available to us...For God has not given us the spirit of fear. But of power and of love and a sound mind......... 2 Tim 1:7.
Panic is the feeling I got after birthing a baby and six weeks later looking down into its innocent face and mourning a thousand deaths that I had brought this creature into this horrible, wicked world. Panic was not being able to put the baby back and having to take responsibility for its little life and soul. My only deliverance from that feeling of panic was turning to my faith and belief in God's power and strength. He would hold that child better than I ever could. He promised and I believed.
Then there were the stages of protection. I did this pretty heftily without really thinking. I was more instinctual than spiritual during this part. My kids were growing so rapidly and life has a way of picking up speed when you have preschoolers and 1st graders. My time was filled with being practical and simplistic, thus instinctual. However, during the protective stage I was prayerful and powerful, growing beyond fear and doubt.
We used to have a little Bantam hen we would sneak white Leghorn chicken eggs under...she would sit and protect those eggs and hatch out beautiful chickens for us. She fluffed and preened and pecked her time away on her nest and had to be bodily moved once the eggs hatched, even though the chicks were almost as big as she was. She depicted a picture of our protection "under the shadow of the wing of The Almighty" Psalm 91:4. That hen taught me a lot about God's care of us.
Over time, I am finding that protecting is less important. We tend to overprotect and shelter our kids so much that they learn to seek comfort over responsibility. They are so gifted with an abundance of goodness and activity that they know little about deprivation or sacrifice. Because questions are not welcomed or answered they learn not to ask them. They just behave and obey without testing or finding out for themselves if mom and dad are doing what the God says to do.
Our kids need us to learn to hear them. They see through our hangups and mistakes. They might be better able to pinpoint where we have lost sight of our eternal goals. Ask them what they see. Preserving/maintaining/keeping...These are legitimate goals but without Jesus behind them they are going to lose their value. They just are. We can't expect our kids to fight for something that doesn't seem valuable to them. If what we have doesn't seem valuable to them; then I think we lost them somewhere during the protecting stage when we didn't take the time to answer their very real questions or when we weren't honest with them about our own questions.
When we move past only protecting and into preserving, we are going to give our kids values that last... things of worth. We are going to show them reality free of facades. We will learn to practice walking together the way Jesus taught us to walk. We must show them forgiveness by how we forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will let go of trivialities and get to the point. We have to stop explaining so much application and actually live it. If we care about preserving their souls we will help them dig into the Word of God and find out for themselves the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Ultimately, what they choose for their life long path is up to them. We can't make them believe in everything we value. That is up to the work of the Holy Spirit. If we have done our homework and given them lasting eternal goals; we have done our part. After that, we stay strong and pray. And we keep doing that. What better place to relinquish our control over our kids than to the foot of the cross? How much stronger our faith when we relax in the belief of the power of the Holy Spirit alive and well in us and in our kids?