Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Weekly Word - August 2, 2006

Weekly Word - August 2, 2006

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are Mine!”
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.”
(Isaiah 43: 1 & 2)

“Why do we go to church?” was the question that my little granddaughter asked her daddy a few weeks ago. They were sitting in church that morning, he and his three little ones. It had been a rough few months - as he and his wife were working through a divorce. As he looked down at his little 3 year-old, he wasn’t quite sure what to answer her. “To learn about God and Jesus” he told her. “And so we will go to Heaven when we die,” he also said. Her dark brown eyes clouded over, as she thought about what he had said. “I don’t want to go to Heaven” she finally said. And Mike tried to keep from laughing as she said it. “Why not?” he asked. “Because I don’t know anybody there” she told him.

As Mike told me the story, I couldn’t help but picture her - with her red hair and dark brown eyes. I love each of my grandchildren, but it has always amazed me how different all three are. The oldest is quiet and shy, and very bright! The youngest, a little boy, laughs all the time and seems to just enjoy life. But Abby always seems so intense - determination fills her being! It might be the red hair, but you could also call her stubborn. Just a few weeks ago, she tested my own will. There she was, in the living room, trying to carry her little brother around. I had scolded her, telling her to put him down. She looked at me with such hurt in her eyes, and then she ran into her room. I gave her a few minutes, and then I followed her. She was standing at her bureau, digging through one of the drawers. She looked up at me, with tears in her eyes - but also with that same determination. I asked her what she was doing, and she told me she was looking for her shirt. “What shirt?” I asked her. “My pink one - the one that says I’m the big sister!”

Thus says the Lord, your Creator . . . And He who formed you, . . .
“Do not fear, for I am with you;”
(Isaiah 43: 1 & 5)

Mike continued to tell me the story about Abby. When she told him that she didn’t know anyone in Heaven, he wasn’t sure what to say to that. But then he started telling her all about Heaven. He told her how beautiful it is, and how God and Jesus are there. He then told her that it is a much better place, than going to (well you know the other place!) Abby listened to everything that Mike told her. And then she looked up at him and asked: “Will you be there daddy?” At this, he swallowed hard and told her that yes, he would be there. “OK Daddy, I’ll go - but I don’t want to go alone.” “Will you hold my hand when it is time for me to go there . . .”

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.”
“When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched.”
Since you are precious in my sight, Since you are honored - and I love you.”
(Isaiah 43: 2 & 4)

As a parent, we always want to “be there” for our children. We wish that our children didn’t have to feel pain - or ever get hurt. As a parent - we want to hold their hands - always . . .

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.”

He was about 5 years old, and Jenny was still a baby in my arms. I had taken them to a birthday party. Children were running around everywhere, and I was trying to keep my eye on Mike. There was laughter, and screeching, as the children were having a wonderful time. There was a huge “play-scape” at the place, and Mike was playing on it with his friends. It seemed so tall, and he looked so little - up at the top. One of my friends was talking to me, but I couldn’t seem to pay attention to her. Instead, I could feel the fear starting to overtake me. I tried not to let anyone know what I was feeling, as I quickly walked toward my son. He was laughing, looking straight down at me - and then he turned and jumped out of sight.

“Do not fear, for I am with you;”

The scream scared everyone, and Jenny started to cry in my arms. I ran as fast as I could, terrified to see him laying there on the ground. But when I got there, everyone just stared at me. I had been the one to scream - as Mikey turned and jumped on to a small bridge, just out of my sight. I felt so stupid, as my son looked at me - wondering what was wrong. I tried to smile, reassuring him that it was alright for him to go and play. As he ran off with his friends though, my heart continued to pound in my chest. He was fine, but I was still shaking, as I went to sit down with my friends. To this day, I can still feel the fear that filled my being - the moment I thought something terrible had happened to my son.

“And fear not,” declares the Lord, “And do not be dismayed, . . .”
“For I am with you,” declares the Lord, “to save you;”

(Jeremiah 30: 9 & 11)

I really do wish that all my fears were like that day - unfounded. I wish I could say that neither of my children were ever hurt, or felt pain. But they did. I wanted to protect them, and keep them safe every single day - but I couldn’t. There were trips to emergency rooms and doctors - and times that their crying made my own heart hurt.

Both of my children are grown now. Each has gone through quite a bit, in their young lives. There was confusion and heartache, when I left their father. Before that, there had been years of fighting and anger in the house. There were moments of disappointment, as well as times of great pride. Through everything, I learned I couldn’t always be with them, or protect them. But there was “One” who could. Each and every day, I asked God to go with them . . .

“For I am with you,” declares the Lord, “to save you;”
“For I will restore you to health - and I will heal you of your wounds,” declares the Lord

(Jeremiah 30: 11 & 17)

“Will you hold my hand?” those were the words that Abby asked her daddy. As he looked at his little daughter, he swallowed back the tears. He was going through so much right now, and as he told me the story - my own heart hurt. “Yes, I will hold your hand,” he told her. Climbing into his lap, she then asked: “And when we get there - will you hold me?”

“and I will heal you of your wounds,”

I wish I could keep my children and grandchildren from being hurt. But the truth is, this world is not perfect, and there are times when each of us will get hurt. Right now, my son is going through some tough times. I wish I could fix it - but I can’t. But when I see those three little ones - I know that something good - has come from what is now painful. He has three beautiful gifts - to hold and love - for the rest of his life. Will he be able to keep them from being hurt? No. But with God’s help - he can help them to face - - - anything . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)

Each and every one of us will face heartache and pain in our lives. But we have a choice - to walk it alone - or not. It is my hope and prayer that you will ask the Lord to walk with you each day - helping you to face whatever is ahead. Like my grandbaby, will you ask Him to hold your hand - as you walk into forever . . .

God bless you and keep you - until we meet back here again!

In His Amazing Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers