Lift up your eyes on high: Who created all these? He leads forth the starry host by number; He calls each one by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Though it has been many years now, I still remember the day one of my children seemed to be lost. He was just a toddler. We lived on a generous three acre lot with hills, woodland and several places one could hide. As time ticked by my heart pounded; pounded as tears filled my eyes. We had looked everywhere. Standing from atop my front yard’s hill I looked over to the lake which was but a half block away.
“Dear God not there.”
My hands trembled from fear and my stomach churned. The search continued as my husband and I sought out where the little guy might have gone. In those moments, I dreaded the worse of outcomes.
“Too many places to hide,” I wept.
Just a few years earlier, my husband and I had gone on an adventure hike. It started in the Mukwonago area and headed west towards Palmyra. The area was part of the Kettle Moraine forest and was pretty isolated.
It was a gorgeous fall afternoon. We walked for hours talking about our future life together. Neither of us had realized the sun was nodding off for the day. We had no idea where we had ended up, but knew it was time to turn back.
This was a time before cell phones, so to contact someone was out of the question. Our only option was to briskly hurry back before it became too dark to see where we were headed. We had no flashlight, food or water and were very ill prepared to be lost in the big woods. A pleasant hike had become a nervous ordeal.
Both incidences brought up an anguishing type of fear that one would not want to go through.
If only in those days that I had known God as my Abba, Father and His Son as my Savior. We would have been less dependent on ourselves and looked to the heavens for His intervention. Perhaps, looking towards the stars that evening, lost in the woods, we would have known God had everything under control. Or a few years later, that God was carrying for my toddler. Both times He could have lit the path to our peace during a trial.
Yes, we found the missing toddler napping in an unusual place. And on our return hike a random car had passed by an open part of the trail and agreed to take us back to our car. God was looking after us even when we really didn’t know Him.
I know think of how much fear we would have missed if only we had known how to trust Him during difficult times. God longs for His Creation to find Him. He always was and will be waiting for those to call Him by name.
Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.
Having taught children about who Jesus is for almost 4 decades I have come to admire their childlike faith.
From a five year old who utters in prayer, “I love You God. Amen.” To a nine year old who adds a bit more, “Dear Almighty God I know you are with me.” I stand amazed at the simplicity of a child’s love towards God.
As children grow into teenhood something begins to change. Worldly life has so much to offer, it appears, often time with God diminishes. And then as adults the prayer too often becomes a plea, “God are you REALLY there?”
I wonder why such a change occurs from the moments of a trusting child to the doubts of an adult. Perhaps, people become syndical as the disappointments of life creep in. Maybe one has forgotten we live in a sin cursed world in which only God is the answer to life’s problems. Often, there has been no spiritual growth in a person’s life, reading of the Bible or church attendance to help build one’s faith.
May we each nurture a childlike faith until it’s our time to leave this earth.
Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
It’s hard to take another week of windchills in minus figures. Who even wants to get out of bed? Where is the motivation?
I can handle the shrinking snow. Maybe even welcomed the fluffy few inches which settles in the trees until the sun heats things up and the dripping start. Ask the maple tees; it’s almost syrup time.
As one ponders the last of remaining days of winter, in theory twenty days left, I can’t help but think of the Ukraine. I read there are at least 3,000 churches laboring in sharing Christ in a nation under siege.
A month ago life was normal in the Ukraine; not much different than life here in the states. Children attended local schools and adults commuted to work. Families went grocery shopping and churches fed people spiritual food. There were get togethers, children sporting events, birthday parties and weekends to relax. Life was normal.
As of a week ago, that all changed for the people of Ukraine. Many are fleeing and leaving most of the belongings behind. They are saying goodbye to family and friends whom they may never see again. I know the world has seen this too many times in my lifetime.
We housed a student whose family was part of a genocide. His family started a new life in France. His father was wealthy. Far too many others were not as fortunate. The world can be a difficult place to live.
As we go about complaining about trivial things this week (like winter) remember those who are truly suffering; pray for them and the churches ministering as servants of Jesus Christ.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:8
Some Mondays we find ourselves in the same endless routine. There is the same weary job, familiar responsibilities and even boring weather dangling around our necks bringing us down. If only something could be a bit different.
Our emotions are on a roller coaster of the mundane ins and outs of life. We plot along hoping this is the week we are able to walk with integrity. We know there should be a desire to display the Fruits of the Spirit and too often we fail to practice them.
Somethings in life may need to be finished; like my manuscript. Other thing started for the first time this year. I am hoping to begin sewing dresses for Operation Christmas Child. These garments go to girls who have little. Before I can move ahead with the old or start the new, I am reminded of the importance of listening to what God’s plans are for my efforts and time this week.
Fridays are exciting filled with change from routine; Monday is different. Let Monday be a fresh start of newness in seeing God’s plan for your job and responsibilities. As for the weather, it will change soon enough.
It’s too easy to just dive into another Monday and leave God behind.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
I can think of no greater way to express love than by spending time together. I do understand there are different love languages: giving gifts, serving projects, physical touch or words used to encourage, but all of them need available time.
Saturday I took two of my grandkids to our small town’s ice craving event. It was freezing, but the sun was out and their smiles were warming. We judged our favorite sculptures as we briskly walked downtown Hartford. Later, we grocery shopped, baked, had a snack and simply talked together. The biggest cost? It was my time.
I think one of the greatest gifts on Valentines Day is to show our loved ones how much we want to spend time with them. That doesn’t need to be in person. It could be a call, text or letter. Just taking time to acknowledge another person is priceless.
While you are at it, don’t forget to spend time with God! Your next breath comes from Him.