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Monsters & Mattering
By: Chris Culver

There is a monster under my son’s bed. Something, he doesn’t know what, hides in the shadow in the corner. I’ve tried telling him monsters aren’t real but it doesn’t help and…well…it isn’t true. Sure, the hairy, horned, snarling, drooling beast he is talking about isn’t real, but there is no denying that the world is full of monsters. So I’ve changed tactics. When the fear is real I still check for monsters, but then we talk about how big and strong and good God is. How he made the monsters and so he is perfectly capable and willing of protecting us from monsters. Sounds very spiritual, right? It isn’t going well. But I’m going to keep trying. It will take time for him to believe me but I want him to hear me say that he can trust Jesus and Jesus can handle everything. That can be hard to believe when the world you find yourself in is terrifying and you feel helpless.   When Mary Magdalene and the other women came to Jesus’ tomb on the third day intending to anoint his body with spices they instead encountered the resurrected Jesus! He says to them, “Do not be afraid.” This isn’t a rebuke of their fear; it is a comforting word from their teacher, friend, and Lord. There is nothing to be scared of any more. Not even death can hold Jesus. This is what I want my son to learn. This is what I’m trying to learn.   It’s not shadows or bumps in the night that scare me these days. Most days I’m okay with the thought of dying. But there is something I’m scared of. Every day I live in fear of not mattering. Where is my significance? Why does it matter that I am here at all? To whom does it matter? What do people think of me? I might not articulate those thoughts clearly but my behavior makes my fear obvious. I think that most of the time when we tell each other and ourselves how busy we are we are really saying, “I’m important! And I have lots of important things happening that won’t get done without me! I’m busy so I must matter!” We are terrified of how little glory (weight/significance) we have. It’s to us that Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid! Can’t you now see how much you matter? I am God and I can handle everything, even death. I did all this to make you a child of the King! All you have to do is stop trying to matter on your own!” You matter so much that he took your sins away from you, dealt with them on the cross, and made you a child of the king. Reflect on the resurrection today. You aren’t too busy to do that. Look and see how capable he is of handling life and death; see how much you matter to him. It is not only from death that you have been delivered. You have been delivered from being a slave to the hairy, horned, snarling, drooling beast of mattering.