As the girls grow older we are starting to leave the prams behind when we go on our afternoon walks. We do not walk very far but my heart is always filled with joy as I get to hold a little hand in mine.
The danger in my daughter letting go of my hand is very real. Cars come around corners too fast without knowing we are there. If she trips whilst she is holding my hand I am able to keep her from falling, but if she is running ahead of me on the sidewalk when she trips, then there is nothing I can do to stop her from getting hurt.
Psalm 1 tells us the danger of walking in step with the wicked. It speaks about the man who chooses not to walk with the wicked, and describes him as blessed.
Psalm 1 vs 1
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked.”
If my hand is holding tightly to God’s then I am unable to hold the hand of the wicked. If I am holding tightly to God’s hand as I walk through this life then He will keep me from falling.
Jude 1 vs 24-25
“Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.”
We seem to be going through a children’s song explosion at home as our daughters learn more and more at school and at Sunday School. Songs from my childhood are continually sung around the house and I am amazed at the theological truth that is behind all the words that we hear.
The words that are continually on my mind at the moment are, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”
One little line and yet it holds so much promise. Am I joyful? If not then I have to ask myself if I am trusting and if I am being obedient to what the Lord has called me to do.
Proverbs 16 vs 20
“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”
Although my daughter is only three years old and still struggling to write her name, she came home from school last week singing, “Read your Bible, pray every day and you will grow grow grow.”
Once again I am so amazed at how much I learn from the youngest people in my life. I am amazed how God uses their presence in my life to gently remind me of His Truth.
In a season in the year where it is cold and dark outside, I don’t often think about growth. I think about getting from one day to the next, one Monday to Friday and forgetting about the rich promise of growth that is given to us in God’s Word.
Long after the singing had stopped and my little girl was tucked up in bed, the words on growth continued to challenge me.
I woke again this morning eager to pour my heart out to God, to read His Word and to grow.
Psalm 5 vs 3
“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
I remember a particularly difficult winter several years ago. There seemed to be so many difficult things in my life, so many unanswered prayers, so much that my heart was longing for.
As I drove down a road in the city, the trees were bare from leaves, and the lack of color seemed to match my mood. In my heart I felt the gentle comforting whisper that just as spring would bring the green leaves to the trees, so the season that I was in would soon be over.
A few weeks later I drove down the same road and was surprised by the bright green new leaves on the trees, and before long the difficult times were behind me and I could see the Lord at work answering prayers and granting me the desires of my heart as I delighted myself in Him.
I lay on a blanket in the garden the other day, and as I looked up at the sky through a big oak tree, I was amazed by the falling brown leaves that seemed to dance their way down to the ground. I realized that another season was nearing it’s end and I was reminded by those green leaves several years ago, encouraged that this oak tree would soon bare new leaves.
I am so thankful for this walk with the Lord. I am thankful that it is always moving, always changing. I am thankful that He is leading me forward, leading me through different seasons. I am thankful that He knows the plans that He has for me, and that those plans are perfect.
Psalm 31 vs 15
“My times are in Your hand.”
My youngest daughter and I lay on a picnic blanket in the garden enjoying the winter sun. We ate fruit, tickled, wrestled and played the airplane game where I sit her on my legs and lift her high into the sky. Eventually we lay exhausted staring up at the sky through the leaves.
I noticed that even though it was the middle of winter the sun was starting to have that burning feel to it, and so I turned on my side to make sure that my daughter was in my shade. I smiled into her eyes as she looked at me, and remembered the verse in the Psalms:
Psalm 17 vs 8
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings”
I am so thankful that God is my Father and that He keeps me protected in His shade.
We sat cutting paper yesterday afternoon. Our older daughter was keeping on the lines, using her one hand in the way she has been taught and so could sit quietly unassisted. Our two year old needed my full attention as she grasped the scissors in both hands, waving them precariously in the air as she told me to hold the paper in front of her whilst she attempted to make contact with the paper and cut it.
The results were quiet clear. The cutting that had gone according to plan resulted in neatly piled pieces of paper. The one that had been done according to strong will, remained a whole piece of paper with a few jagged edges.
All I could think as I watched the whole debacle unfold, was that the right way of doing it would have been so much better for her. And again that small still voice reminded me of the verse in Isaiah.
Isaiah 55 vs 8
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
It is so easy to get caught up in doing things that seem right to us yet result in a jaggedly cut, unrecognizable mess. My prayer for today is that I will stop and ask the Lord for His thoughts and His ways instead of setting out to do things my own way.
When I think back on the earliest memories of my walk with the Lord, one of the clear memories in my mind is one of praise. I remember singing songs of praise to Jesus when my dad was drying my hair one evening when I could not have been more than four years old. Praising Jesus came naturally and has remained a strong theme for my life.
As we drove on holiday recently, the noise of the cars and traffic were suddenly drowned out by our sweet girl starting to sing. Her little voice sounds so beautiful to me, even though I can recognize that she seems to have my lack of tune and rhythm.
Her words are even more beautiful. As we sat listening to her sing, we could hear her singing about how wonderful Jesus is. Praise just comes naturally to her as she praises the big God who has made everything and who knows everything.
My prayer for her is that she will never stop singing and that I will never stop listening and being reminded to praise God with faith like a child.
Matthew 18 vs 3
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”