Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Lord Holds My Hand

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.  Psalm 37:8

When I read this passage I envisioned a father walking hand in hand with his unsteady toddler.  He directs where his child will go, and seeing what's ahead, he leads him towards a playground, which he knows will be worth the trek this little one has to take to get there.  But more difficult than the distance are the obstacles along the way...the curb in particular.  Approaching unaware, the child steps right off and starts to fall.  But the loving father, fully anticipating this, holds tightly to his child's hand, pulling him up before he falls headlong to the ground.  

No doubt there are some important truths that are being planted in the child's mind through experiences like this.  He will eventually come to a curb and stop, turning his eyes up to his father for help...

Teach me Daddy....I don't know how to do this.

He is also learning that he can trust his father to always take care of him...he won't ever let go of my hand.

Can you imagine a child fighting to free his hand from his father's grip?  He doesn't know the dangers without him.  There is struggle and frustration as he tries to free himself and go his own way.  

But the child who delights in his father and delights in walking where his father leads, this child is at peace...this child is happy.  And this child's father delights to take him to places that he only dreams of going... even if there are curbs along the way.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

To take this illustration further....

Imagine the child and his father happily walking together when the father begins to lead them into a dark tunnel, scary and black.  The child looks up to his father and says, "Why are we going in there?  I'm scared."

Don't be afraid, I'm right here with you, I won't let go of your hand. 

I know the way, trust me completely and be at peace.

Or imagine the father leading his child through a field to a beautiful stream - such that would delight the heart of his young child.  Yet only the father can see the stream, as the child is too small to see what lies ahead.  And the father knows that in order to reach the stream he must carefully lead his child through a briar patch filled with prickly thorn bushes.  The child's fearful eyes look up to his father and he says, "I don't want to go that will hurt!  Isn't there another way?"  The loving father tenderly bends down, holds his frightened child's face in his strong yet gentle hands and says, 

My dear child, I will bind your wounds. 

Follow me closely and do not struggle.  I will lead you one step at a time.  I will not let go of your hand.

I know the way.  Trust me with all your heart, I will help you see the beauty even among the thorns.  

This short journey through the thorns will not compare to what is waiting for you on the other side. (2 Cor. 4:17-written below)

Be encouraged dear friend... If our earthly fathers, who are sinners, know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more does our heavenly Father desire to bless us and care for us if we ask Him!  (Matthew 7:11)

Additional Scriptures:

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:8

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the Morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 139:7-12, 

I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 16:8

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left."
Isaiah 30:17

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, February 25, 2013

Boy or Girl- Which will it be?

Oh BOY!!! (YES, x 7!!)

God has given us another special gift...another boy!

We have a huge task ahead of us, raising all these young men,
and our little young woman.

Hailey Jo sure is blessed to have all these brothers surrounding her.

I always tell the kids that God knows exactly what our family needs.

The reality is, God also knows exactly what this world needs. 

It needs men and women, boys and girls who are totally sold out for God. Who will follow Him no matter what the cost.  That is our prayer for this precious little brood of ours.

May God use them...

to display his beauty and creativity through their unique gifts and talents,
 to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a world that is desperate for His love, 
to be a picture of His grace poured out on sinners,
to be a display of His power made perfect in their weakness, 
to bring Him glory and honor through a heart that treasures Him above all else.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Peak At My Baby

Today we get to look into the secret place where the Lord is knitting together our precious child.  The hidden place that only His eyes have seen.  We get to take a sneak peak into the wonderful works of God and discover the precious soul who is being fearfully and wonderfully made in my womb.  

Who is this child whom the Lord loves intimately, whose days have all been written in his book before there was yet one of them?  Who is this child who is the focus of my Savior's eye?

Today we all will go, the whole family, including Steven's parents who are in town, and see our baby... which will make us long all the more for the day God places him/her in our arms.

Him/Her...which will it be?

Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  
My frame was not hidden from you, 
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me, 
when as yet there was none of them.