“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”. Deuteronomy. 7:9
Our family is taking up three rows in the church we are visiting today. It’s a good thing a few are in the nursery and Blake doesn’t need I seat. As a mom, I must admit I’m beaming with pride at that bearded boy standing there leading worship. But how is it possible that there’s so much grey in it! These last few years have been hard and promising; I’m blessed by how he’s matured and grown! School pressures, money stresses, broken down vehicles, five precious baby girls, a wife to love as Christ loves… I can not bear the prospect of him moving his family away, but so far, it will either be another disappointing “no” or the next chapter. I pray for him to lead his family well and wish I could relieve some of his load.
My heart smiles as I see my beautiful 20 year old adding her violin to their small worship team. She does it each week at our own church, but today she seems extra vulnerable. This has been a hard year. This week brought tears from the death of a dream. Her semester schedule is filled with tough classes and ministry opportunities. I wish she could know what a true gift she is to us and those she serves. If she could understood how hard it will be to send her to Africa for eight weeks and the faith that God is building in my own heart as i walk with her through her struggles and trials. All that God has in store for her seems allusive right now. I pray that her identity be rooted in Jesus, but I’d much rather be bearing these weights for her.
My sweet pre teen grand-daughter is up there too, adding her voice to the harmonies. She looks so grown up at just 12. So much like her mom on that day I first saw her, the day my son first caught site of his future bride. She is spreading wings and sometimes knocking down others in her quest to be grown up. I pray for her passion for Jesus, I hope it will grow and ignite her heart with a desire to love others.
My thoughts are heavy with praise and excitement, and blessings and humility, ladened with anxious thoughts. I see my mom and dad sitting here. The pride in their posture, yet I know there are things on their hearts that weigh heavy too. I pray for them, I want to assure them that they will live to see some of the decades of faithful praying come to fruition and I want to take this heavy load from them.
This life, my family, the struggles and disappointments are really and truly heavy right now. Not heavy like death or terminal health stuff, but nevertheless, heavy. Really weighty, heart heavy stuff. There have been tears and late nights. Exposed sin and defeat and setbacks and obstacles! Little rest and restless sleep. It has been a struggle to “not worry or be anxious“. Weariness that comes from “casting our cares” and the “armor” I’m wearing just seems to be too hard to even “put on” some days. In the day to day battles my thoughts become overwhelmed and I can so easily “throw away my confidence“, all I can do is pray! And in the same chapter He tells us to “pray without ceasing” He goes on to say, “He who calls you is faithful”. (1 Thessalonians 5: 17, 24)
Blake begins preaching and I’m startled back from my worried thoughts! He’s preaching on God’s unconditional faithfulness out of 2 Timothy, “The saying is trustworthy…if we are faithless, He remains faithful”! And this is when it dawns on my heart: God is being faithful. He’s showing Himself to be faithful in these afflictions we are walking through. He’s growing the faith in my heart and hearts of my family. I do not need to protect the ones I love: -the hearts of the children He’s given me to shepherd, the parents who pointed me to Him; -from their faithful Father! I don’t need to lighten their load— and as much as I love each of these precious ones, He loves them more! In fact he loves them so much that in these afflictions He’s teaching each of us to “rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:9 So tonight I’m putting down the idol god; me, and rejoicing the God I know ; El HaNe’ eman; the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”