Your promises have proved to be true. I love them. Psalm 119:140
It’s the third time since saying goodnight that she has called me into her room.
“You’re not going anywhere, are you?”
No sweetie. I’m right outside your room.
There it is again. Her desperate plea for assurance. Her attempt to grasp at something secure in a world of change around her.
Please say it Mommy. Please say, “You promise.”
I utter a quick prayer, desperate myself, for the Lord to let His peace and comfort sink into the heart of my anxious child. Into my heart. “I can’t do this Lord. I’m so tired. I can’t go through this one more night.“
I wish my words and my promises were enough. I’ve walked through this scenario too many times to know my promise will not get her or I to bed any sooner.
The reality is, I can’t promise anything for sure. When I walk outside her room, shut the door, anything could happen. She could call, and I could not be there.
There is only One who keeps His promises. ALWAYS. And she needs Him. I need Him.
I kneel down beside her bed and push the hair away from her face. The fear and worry in her eyes is so real no matter how founded. I want for her to believe, for me to believe that we will get through this. That this moment will not define her future path or mine.
I have to dismiss the thought again that my child will always struggle with this. That I will always struggle with this. This daily walk of believing God is trustworthy. That He is in loving control of my life. That He knows best.
I cry out in my head, “Lord, why won’t she believe me when I tell her I’m here? That I’m not going anywhere. That when I give her my word, I mean it?”
Because she needs to see that she can trust you. Just as you need to see you can trust Me. Tell her again. Tell yourself again.
“Sweetie, I will do my very best to keep that promise, but let’s talk about the One who always can.”
We start at the beginning.
“God created Adam and Eve and promised He would love them forever. Even when they ate the fruit, He told them He would provide a way for them to be close to Him again. And He has kept His promise. ”
God asked Noah to build an ark. He promised that He would save Noah and His family from the flood. And He kept His promise. He put a rainbow in the sky after the flood to remind Noah and all of us afterwards that He will never flood the earth again. And He has kept His promise.
God sent Abraham to a land he did not know and promised a son in his old age. And He kept that promise. Even at the risk of “giving up” that promised son, God provided a ram for the sacrifice, and thus proved trustworthy again. God kept His promise.
Because, Sweetie, “God always keeps His promises.”
There on my daughter’s bedroom floor we recounted the promises of God given to Jacob, Moses, Ruth, David, Esther, Isaiah, Jonah, Daniel. Each “keeping of a promise” adding a stone of faith on this path of ours…learning to trust…despite what we feel, what we see.
My mind is drawn back through the rolodex of fears that I played out just in this day. My marriage, my kid’s health, the lack of security in a relationship with a friend, financial concerns, an unbelieving family member, my worth and adequacy, messages played out on television, racial wars in America, Israel, this world….
I can hear my daughter’s fears played out too.
“Then comes Jesus,” my daughter says. I smile in the dark.
Yes, Jesus. Sweet Jesus.
Jesus is the keeping of a Promise. His death and resurrection, His forgiveness of sins, His invitation to walk in fullness of life was God’s keeping His promise to you and me.
I sit quietly relishing in this truth.
Jesus said, “I am with you always, to the very end. (Matthew 28:19)”
You are never alone Sweetie. Even when I leave this room in a couple of minutes, Jesus is with you. But I have to leave for you to see that I will come back. So you will see that you can trust me. I have to leave so you can see that even when I am not with you, Jesus is, and you will be okay.
And I’m with you daughter. Each daily circumstance, big or little, is my way of showing you that I can be trusted. That you can count on Me to be with you through it all. That I do care and I know what is best for you. I will keep My promises.
Our God, who has parted seas, won mighty battles, torn down walls with a shout, closed the mouths of lions, provided a husband for the widow, opened wombs to carry the seed of blessing, turned water into wine, walked on water, gathered children in His lap, raised Jesus from the dead…
He’s got this. He’s really got the whole world in His hands. He’s got my daughter. He’s got me. He’s got you.
My daughter did eventually go to sleep. I did too. But not until after I found this painting of a rainbow my daughter did last year.
You really never can grow too old to love rainbows. Or too old to remember God always keeps His promises.
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