Five Beautiful Words

One of my children was scared the other night. Scared of zombies.

She came to me and told me her fear. She explained to me how she knew they weren’t real and she shouldn’t be afraid, but deep down the fear was just there and she couldn’t shake it.

I talked to her and asked what I could do to help. I was thinking maybe I could leave her bedroom door open or leave a nightlight on for her. That’s not what she needed, though. With tears in her eyes she said these five beautiful words to me:

“Can we pray about it?”

Here I was trying to fix everything, and she knew that she needed something more than what Mama alone could give her.

Of course we prayed about it, and she was able to sleep well that night. (We did leave an extra light on.)

I was thinking about my daughter’s sweet heart as I went for a walk the next morning. As I walked, I was listening to the Gospel of John. I came to the account of the healing of the nobleman’s son in John 4. This nobleman has a son who is at the point of death and comes to Jesus for help. Here are the words that stood out to me that morning:

When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. John 4:47 (NKJV)

He implored him. Can you imagine the intensity with which he asked for Jesus’ help? I know how it hurt me to see my daughter afraid that night. I just wanted to make it better, and if the answer was to go to God for her, then that’s what I would do. This man in John 4 felt the same way. He knew that the only hope for his son’s healing was to go to Jesus for him.

We see this again and again in the Bible – parents going to Jesus on behalf on their children for healing.

We see it in Mark 5 when a synagogue official named Jairus goes to Jesus on behalf of his daughter. What does Jairus do as he comes to Jesus?

He fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” Mark 5:22-23 (NKJV)

This picture makes me cry just thinking about it. I can feel the intensity of what Jairus must have felt. We would all do anything for our children, wouldn’t we? There comes a point where we as parents realize that the answer to what our children need doesn’t lie solely in us.

But you know what? We can bring the answer to them.

We can be like Jairus, falling to the feet of Jesus to beg for help for our children. We can humble ourselves and implore as he did to get them what they need.

Our children may not always be able to voice those five beautiful words “Can we pray about it?”

The children in these two Biblical examples weren’t in a position to ask for help, but the parents saw the need. They saw the need and knew they couldn’t fill it on their own. They needed help.

As a mother, there is no greater comfort than knowing that Jesus is still there listening today. Through Him, I can go to God at any time on behalf of my children – whatever the fear, whatever they face, and whether they ask me to or not. God hears, and He cares. I just have to humble myself and ask.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10 (NKJV)


Sometimes you have to Stop to Keep Going

Autumn had to take the week off from running last week. She had a cold the previous weekend that settled in her chest and didn’t want to let go. She felt good and was playing outside quite a bit, but training to run when you can’t breathe is no fun. She wanted to run, but I explained to her that sometimes it’s better to stop and let your body heal. Then you can keep going even stronger. If you keep trying to run when you’re sick, it’s just going to take longer to heal, and you might actually damage yourself in the process.

I had to take a healing day myself this week – not for a physical problem, but a spiritual one. I was one cranky lady over the weekend. Everything seemed to upset me, and I was pretty miserable.

It wasn’t a cold that had settled inside me. It was weariness and bitterness. However, just like Autumn’s cold, it didn’t want to let go.

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; Hebrews 12:15

I knew that I couldn’t keep running as I was. I needed to stop and heal.

For me, that meant a day where I fasted, prayed, and spent a lot of time in God’s word. I needed to sit at Jesus’ feet as Mary did in Luke 10. I had to give myself permission to ignore some things that needed to be done in order to take care of the only thing that is truly necessary.

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

It’s easy to let other things become necessary in our minds when they’re really not.

We see in scripture how Jesus took time away from healing and teaching to spend time alone with God. He set the example for us. If Jesus, the Son of God, needed time to rest and re-connect with the heavenly Father, how do I expect to keep going without doing the same?

It’s like asking Autumn to run when she can’t breathe.

It doesn’t make any sense.

So, take the time to heal spiritually if you need it. It really is ok. So many of the other things that we are worried and bothered about can wait. Don’t try to keep running when you’re sick. Stop and heal.

Autumn is running so much faster and stronger than she was two weeks ago. Healing time was what she needed. Sometimes you have to stop and rest in order to keep going.image

 It’s not a waste of time. It’s what is necessary to finish the race.

Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness. Psalm 119:159

Can you please help me up?

autumn swingThe red swing at the park draws my children’s attention every time. It is one of those designed for children with special needs, but my own children find it fascinating.  On a recent visit to the park, my youngest daughter called to me from over by that red swing.

“Can you please help me up?”

“Sure,” I told her, and I began to pick her up to put her in the swing. However she was still holding on to the chains, trying to lift herself up at the same time. Every time I went to grab her, she was lifting herself up, and I couldn’t get a good hold on her. It wasn’t working. We were fighting against each other.

I finally said “If you want me to help, you have to stop trying to do it yourself.”

Sure enough, as soon as she just let go, I lifted her up and off she went swinging.

Those words echoed in my mind, though.

“If you want me to help, you have to stop trying to do it yourself.”

It sounded a lot like 1 Peter 5:6-7.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”

The past few weeks I have been a lot like my daughter – trying to do things myself. I have not been casting my anxiety on God as He tells me to. I have been asking God to help me, but all the while holding onto those chains and trying to do it myself. Here’s the result: I haven’t been at peace. I have been struggling. Trying to figure out the perfect answer to every situation and never succeeding is exhausting.

With these thoughts fresh in my mind, I ran across this passage in Matthew :

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:31-34

Seek first His kingdom – that’s exactly what I hadn’t been doing. As my thoughts became preoccupied with how I was going to fix my problems, God and His kingdom got pushed to the back of my mind. I was still spending time with God, but I certainly wasn’t seeking Him first. I was seeking solutions to my own problems first, and then fitting God in as I had time.

I wasn’t trusting God. Of course, if you had asked me, I would have said that I trusted God. That’s what we’re supposed to say, right?  However, my actions showed that I didn’t. I trusted in myself and my own strength to fix things. All the while, God was standing there with His arms ready to lift me up. I just had to let go.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Peace that surpasses all understanding. Yes, that’s what I had been missing. That peace is the result of trusting God enough to seek Him first. It is the result of letting go and trusting Him to lift us up. If we truly believe His promises, then we will seek Him first and trust that the rest will be okay.

If you’re a planner like I am, this isn’t always easy. Sometimes I find myself starting down an anxious train of thought of what I should do about a situation. However, I am learning to stop and pray when this happens. I have to reorganize my thoughts around seeking God first. In putting my life in that perspective, I am so much more peaceful. That peace then extends to those around me. A few days ago my husband commented, “You have had a really good attitude about everything the past couple of weeks.” He was kind enough not to say anything when I had a bad attitude. He just waited for it to change. He is a wise man!

The point is that my family had noticed. They knew when I was struggling, and they could tell when I let go. I’m sure this will not be the last time I will struggle with this, but hopefully I will remember this lesson. Hopefully I will remember the peace that comes from trusting God. It does take faith. But, without that faith, we’ll never get off the ground.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6