Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Hide it Under a Bushel, No?

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” – Daniel 6:10

Most of us won’t even pray over our food in public because it makes us “uncomfortable”.  Yet Daniel, knowing that there was a lions den waiting for him, remained devoted to God, praying three times a day in his window as he always had.  He could have took a 30 day break, as the law was only for 30 days, but he was loyal.  The laws of man were not going to change his relationship with God.  Daniel was, in a word, bold.

The Bible speaks of boldness several times.  It says Jesus spoke boldly before the Jewish ruler in the temple (John 7:26).  Barnabas, in his discussion with the disciples about Paul (recently known as Saul the Christian killer), testified that he had preached Christ boldly in Damascus (Acts 9:27). Several times after that, Paul also was recorded to preach boldly.

So many of us have lost our boldness (writer included).  We’ve allowed political correctness and social acceptance to imprison our Christianity.  We hide it under a bushel as the song “This Little Light of Mine” we sung as a child, declaring we would not do that very thing.  While we’re quick to share our opinions on so many controversial topics, we hide our Christianity as if it were a terribly embarrassing disease.  We have made a choice, consciously or unconsciously.  We’ve decided that the approval of society is more important that the approval of God.  In doing so, we’ve worshipped society, placing it above the will of God.  Yeah, I know it’s hard to hear, but am I wrong?

Jesus had something to say about this behavior in Luke 9 that I think would be wise for us all to consider.  Speaking in verses 23-26 he says:
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Letting Go of the Tiny Hand

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” – Psalms 56:3

I think both of my kids would agree that I’m an overly protective mom.  Sure, I worry about the big things that would harm their life, but I also worry about the small things, the insignificant-in-the-long-run things. 

When Lev was a little toddler, he fell and busted his lip on the coffee table.  I called the doctor.  I didn’t just call him, I was crying and upset and just wanted the bleeding to STOP.  But in retrospect, it wasn’t life threatening.  It was just a heart broken mom seeing her baby bleed for the first time.

When Gabby was small we had a white cat that came and decided to stay.  It bit her one day, and I cried with her.  The cat was rehomed.  And when was life flighted to Vanderbilt at 5 years old, I thought my world was going to end.  But it didn’t.  God took over.  Little Aubree would continually say to me what I always said to her, “Don’t Fall!”  I worried about her scrapping a knee or hitting her head.    And not only does Pearl hold my or Pops hand when going down the stairs, but when she gets to the bottom she looks back to hold mine for me to come down the stairs saying “Gramma, I help you”.  My worrisome thoughts rubbed off on them all through the years it seems.

All this time I thought I was dealing with anxiety, being overly protective, maybe not even letting my kids just be kids.  But I was able to let go.  I realize that when I was able to let them do their own thing, it was hard, but I didn’t do it alone.  A friend of mine told me once that God is the best babysitter you can have because He’s with your kids all the time, He loves them as His own, and He is all powerful.  When I was afraid for them, like when Gabby moved to college in a dorm room all alone, or when Lev went to boot camp, I could let go and remember that God sees them when I don’t.  I spend a lot of time praying for their heath, happiness, and protection from evil, and leave it all in God’s hands because He can do what I cannot.  It’s common sense, is it not?

Today I’m still trusting Him.  I cannot travel Lev, Kristan, and Pearl.  I have so many things I can and do worry about with them being so far away.  But, when I am afraid, I move my thoughts to the baby sitter, our Sovereign God.  He sees what lies ahead not only within their view as they travel, but for miles into the future.  He knows where every evil lurks.  He changes the course of lives to protect them.  I refuse to dwell on the things that could happen, because life has taught me that the majority of them never do!  God is a great Father, and He watches over His children out of a love so deep mine cannot compare.

I know there are parents reading that are getting ready to send their kids to kindergarten for the first time, and that is hard to do when they’ve been with you every day of their life.  I know that there are other parents who are sending their kids to camp and they’ll be away from home for a full week for the first time.  And yet other parents are preparing to pack up their teens and move them to college, sometimes far away.  All of these steps require you to let go of their hand, let go of control over their coming and going, trust them to be who they have been raise to be.  But as you let go of that little hand, take hold of God’s mighty hand.  When you are afraid, trust him.  His love for them is even greater than yours.  His control is stronger than yours.  And His presence is closer than yours.