My husband and I had tucked our son into bed hours ago. We sat with family and friends in the adjacent room, visiting over Thanksgiving leftovers and pie. Then his scream pierced through our conversation.
Immediately, I ran to our 2-year-old. I found him standing in his crib, eyes closed, and body trembling. Scooping him into my arms, I held him tight, willing the force of my embrace to stifle his fears. Within moments I could tell he was still trapped in his sleepy world, a terror shaking him from sound rest. Then a dear family friend drew near. Placing her hand on my son’s shoulder, she began to pray over him, inviting God’s peace to wash over and crowd out fear.
This was only the beginning of my son’s night terrors. Over the next two years, this scene would repeat itself, rushing us to his bedside in the midnight hours.
Yet with time and three more children, I came to recognize a pattern in their development. When I held my newborn babies, their eyes could only capture my face—nothing more than 12 inches away. I witnessed their eyesight developing over those first months, and with it, their perception of the world.
Similarly, as their imaginations grew, I observed gaps of understanding during their first few years. These holes quickly filled with fearful possibilities, and nightmares ensued. What God had given them for good—their creativity and imagination—Satan wanted to twist and utilize to bring fear. As an adult and mother, I experience this on a different level, as what if scenarios open a pit eagerly waiting to fill with anxious outcomes.
What I discovered is these fissures of understanding are bent on filling. Either they will swell with fears planted by Satan, or they will brim over with the hope, assurance, and indescribable peace of Christ. While the devil wants to bring the darkness of fear and anxiety, God’s light offers understanding and peace.
Early in my parenting journey, with my son’s nightmares punctuating our nights, I knew we needed to hide the living and active Word of God in his heart.
4 ways Scripture music can deliver our children from nightmares
This, too, was the solution Jay Stocker, founder and composer of Scripture Lullabies, arrived at. Growing up under the weight of recurring nightmares, Jay held to the teaching of his parents to memorize God’s Word. This led Jay to create lullabies inspired by God’s Word for children and adults dealing with nightmares or anxiety. Only God’s truth has the power to bring darkness to light and conquer fears.
1. God’s Word shines light and exposes every lie.
Through Jesus, we can be brought out of the domain of darkness and into His glorious light! Calling upon Him as Savior, we are secure in His salvation. I find assurance of this truth in Colossians 1:13, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”
But I still encounter many dark fears—whether based on “what if…” scenarios or actual reality. It’s easy to feel helpless as I watch my children battling their own anxieties. Yet God’s work of shining light into darkness is ongoing in our lives. Every day, as we hide His Word in the hearts of our children, darkness is stripped away. The light of His Word illuminates every shadow of doubt and washes out each anxiety.
2. God’s Word leaves no room for the schemes of the devil.
Where God’s Word is spoken or sung aloud, Satan must leave. Hebrews 4:12 assures me, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
I’ve discovered God’s Word to be fully capable of dissecting and discerning the anxious thoughts in my mind. His truth brings sound assurance and peace to the anxieties my children find difficult to name. As the promises of Scripture sing over them, fears have no footing.
3. God’s Word assures our children of His steadfast promises.
Many times, my children’s fears are the product of unanswered questions and uncertainty. Listening to the promises of God, they discover deep and abiding answers from His Word. “I Am Watching Over You” from “Hidden In My Heart, Volume IV” delivers the powerful promise of God’s steadfast presence through the night, inspired by Psalm 3:5: “I lay down and slept; woke again, for the LORD sustained me.”
I am watching over you,
Ever watching over you,
With you through the night,
And by the light of day.
I am watching over you,
Ever watching over you,
Never will I sleep,
You’re Mine to keep always.
4. God’s Word helps our children think on all that is lovely and true.
Scripture music works by first weeding out fearful thoughts, then planting the truth of God’s Word. It provides a guide for my children to take every thought captive and follow the instructions of Philippians 4:8. My children can practice this habit of thought as they listen to “Think On These Things,” with its lyrics lifted straight from Scripture:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble,
Think on these things,
Whatever is just, whatever is pure,
Think on these things.
On the evening of my son’s first night terror, I had little idea what lay ahead of us. However, like many “firsts” in parenting, I knew God’s Word would lead us forward. Like King David in Psalm 119:11, as we practiced hiding God’s Word in our hearts, the truth of Scripture overpowered my son’s fears and delivered him into the powerful peace of God.
For nighttime peace, stream the “No More Nightmares with Scripture Lullabies” playlist on Spotify.
Copyright © 2021 Scripture Lullabies. All rights reserved.
Eryn Lynum is a mother of four, author with Bethany House and Guideposts, and content creator for Scripture Lullabies, a company creating powerfully peaceful music for every age. Scripture Lullabies was founded in 2009 by composer Jay Stocker and his wife, Trina. This powerfully peaceful music is streamed over eight million times each month, changing the atmosphere in hundreds of thousands of homes with the story of God’s Word told through breathtaking music.