That was the cry that woke me at 2am this morning. My wife was already awake. So I encouraged her to get out of bed and see what our 3 year old wanted. It was a couple of cuddly toys that he said that he'd left downstairs. She dutifully went off to collect them and then returned to our bed.
The little lad has been unsettled recently. He has had a number of reasons to feel a bit insecure. We've moved house, area, job, church, nursery school, his big brothers just gone away for 6 months and to top it all he was ill for about a month. During the last couple of weeks he had Scarlet fever, an illness that I was sure that you could only catch on an episode of Poldark!
When we feel insecure we look for comfort. With a 3 year old high on the list comes your cuddly toys. Originally there was one. Mr Stinky. So named because of the way he smelt after a couple of days of being chewed by his owner when he was 9 months. Then Pinky was added (a Rabbit with pink ears). Who pleasingly rhymed with Stinky. The last month has seen an explosion of newly needed friends: Peppa pig, giraffe, bear, another bear and, lastly, monkey.
But real comfort can't be found in inanimate objects. We're designed to feel secure in the love of another. So at about 2.30am a small person arrived beside our bed, clutching the ever growing menagerie of soft wildlife, and climbed in. Some time in the early hours my wife announced she was taking him back. Apparently her side of the bed was distinctly more crowded than mine. And having had his security fix the little lad pottered off to his own room.
One of the verses of the Bible that is often used to comfort people who are feeling afraid or alone is Deuteronomy 31:6: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God is speaking to Joshua. He's just been called to lead his people into the promised land. A land filled with terrifyingly big opponents. He needs to know that God goes with him. That what ever his circumstances he can be secure in the knowledge of God's love, power and presence.
We all need security. The question is where do we find it?
Most commonly people look for security in their money. It's why Christmas time can be difficult for lots of folk. They feel the need to spend more, but are afraid of the debt they run up as a result. The post Christmas blues are a well know facet of January, with higher than normal prescriptions for anti-depressants.
The writer to the Hebrews picks up God's promise to Joshua to deal with this very modern problem.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Don't love money as the thing that will give you happiness and security. It won't. But God has promised that He's there for you all the time.
Come to think of it, we all want our monkey! (A monkey is Cockney slang for £500). But even if it gives us a short term feeling of security. It won't last. The only security that deals with the whole of life is knowing the loving presence of God, through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It's why a quick look at the Bible is always better than a quick look at your bank balance!