Will Graham was just a kid when he sat in the passenger seat of an airplane piloted by his father, Franklin Graham.
All of a sudden the plane shook as they encountered turbulence and Will Graham panicked.
“I’m grabbing the seat like, ‘What just happened?’” he recalled.
“But Dad never moved. … I looked at him and I was calm,” Franklin Graham’s eldest son said. “Even though I was fearful, I thought, ‘Well, if he’s not worried, I’m not worried.’”
During this coronavirus battle—and every day—parents set the tone. If they’re calm and unswaying, children follow their lead. If they’re fearful, kids follow suit.
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One way to stay the course and keep emotions in check is to seek and hear from God daily. Will Graham, who serves as vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, shares how lasting peace is found only through knowing our heavenly Father.
“You look to your parent for stability,” said Graham. “I would encourage parents to be that source, be that rock. And the only way a parent can be that rock is if they’re spending time in God’s Word.”
Will Graham’s sister Cissie Graham Lynch agrees. Lately, she’s been studying the book of Daniel in the Bible, including prophecy of the end times. Lynch challenges people to open their Bibles.
“The Bible says those who know their God will be able to stand in strength and be able to take action,” she said.
At a time when many Christians and non-believers are unemployed and worried about their health, a personal relationship with God will bring peace.
“He’s the most High God. Do we know that?” she challenged. “Do we know His name? Do we know His characteristics to be able to cling to Him in these times that can be fearful?”
As a mother of two, Lynch realizes her little ones are always watching and listening.
“We trust in the Lord, and I don’t live in fear,” she explained. “I’m honest, I don’t hide anything from my children. But they also see my reactions—if I’m not fearful, they’re not fearful.”
Talking about the pandemic with friends and neighbors in front of children can cause unneeded worry or anxiety. Instead, bringing up God’s promises encourages us and others.
“Do our children see that example of us living out our faith and fully trusting and surrendering to God when everything else has been stripped away?” she asked. “Our children have to see our faith through us.”
According to God’s Word, Christians aren’t to live in fear. The Bible says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).
As our minds drift to a worst-case scenario during this pandemic, it’s vital to reign the thoughts back in—and remember Who holds our future.
“Spend your time focusing on God and God’s Word,” encouraged Will Graham. “You might have fear inside but you’ve got to be a pillar for your children.
“If you really want to be fearless, give that fear over to Christ and let Christ come into your life.”
Invite Christ into your life. Pray now.