Opening the brown envelope, I see the black and white image for the first time. Many years have passed since this picture was taken. In fact, it has been more than 2 decades since the laughing man walked on the earth.
The remarkable part of the moment in time is the expression on the children’s faces. Young and vulnerable as they are, the boy and girl show no fear – only assurance and delight. Their daddy is with them to protect from all harm: roving coyotes, strangers who steal children, and loud sounds in the night. To be sure, they could fall down and skin a knee, but they know their daddy always makes the situation better.
Frequently frightened, Davey and Mary are confident in their safety. All is good because that man is near, and they belong to him. Whatever scary creatures come their way, will have to go through the smiling man who adores them first.
Though a child no longer -with extensive experience in the ups and downs of human life, disappointments have clouded my once optimistic attitude. My mind clicks through discouraging scenarios: world-wide wars, economic depression, killing diseases, shouting angry people everywhere, and once loving relationships now estranged. I glance again at the calm happiness on the children’s faces, and I envy the peace and joy I see.
Yet, I know my protector, Jesus Christ, is with me, and he is not a mere man.
Forgive me God for not looking for you in the situation; for not remembering you will never forsake me to issues too big for me to handle alone.
Forgive me, for choosing to worry rather than tell you my concerns. You encourage me with your words in the Bible, and I can talk to you in prayer. Sorry, I have acted like I have forgotten who I am and to Whom I belong!
All Powerful God,
Help me, Almighty God, to see you as you really are-Conquerer of evil, time, and isolation. The One who voluntarily gave up powers and abilities to live a human life filled with poverty, prejudice, and pain to secure my right to be called a child of God. The only human who was raised from death to sit beside His Father in heaven. The same One who lives now to help God’s children.
Help me, my Redeemer, to listen for your words of wisdom and encouragement. To remember that I am your sheep and belong to the Father. That no matter how overwhelmed I am, you know the way forward. Shepherd, you know I often think I know the way. Please pull me back to follow you instead.
My Lord, help me to show a childlike trust in you – whatever comes in life. I want my eyes to shine with joyful delight as I watch to see what you will do next. Because You are my peace…
People were bringing children to Him so that He would touch and bless them, but the disciples reprimanded them and discouraged them [from coming]. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and He said to them, “Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took the children [one by one] in His arms and blessed them [with kind, encouraging words], placing His hands on them. Mark 10; 13-16 Amplified
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, in everywhere you go; He is the One who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5,6 Message
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33 Message