Encouragement for Today
Van Walton, Proverbs 31 Ministries Author and Speaker, Director of Hispanic Ministries
Psalm 103:19, “The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything.” (NLT)
Recently I spent a long weekend with my brother-in-law and his four children. We packed three days with fun activities: eating out at great restaurants, attending football games, and boating on the lake. Our time together taught me a lesson about God.
Three adults and the youngest child all arrived at the football field together. Immediately my nephew ran off to find his friends. His sisters, one a graduate, one a cheerleader, and one a member of the flag corps, had pre-game responsibilities and were nowhere to be seen, especially given the size of the frenzied crowd.
My husband and I followed Bob as he meandered through groups of friendly fans. We climbed the bleachers, found a space for three, and sat down. Rapidly the seats filled in around us. In front of us cheerleaders somersaulted, cart-wheeled, jumped in the air, and encouraged the players toward victory. Beside us, the band led the crowd in chant and song. The evening’s enthusiasm grew to a crescendo. Fans blended into one loud body, sharing heart and soul with their beloved high school athletes. At this event no individuals stood out. We were one in spirit, blended into one giant cheer.
I wondered, “How will Bob’s kids find us?” They had promised to stop by sometime during the game. Half-time festivities came and went. Spaces around us opened up as hungry spectators left for concession stands. Then one by one my nephew and his sisters showed up. Thomas threw himself at his dad and an arm wrapped around his shoulder. Lizzie, tall and athletic, bounded up the steps two by two and plopped herself onto daddy’s lap. His smile said it all. “I love you. You’re mine. I’m always here for you!” Happy to have his daughter so near, he gave her his complete attention. In like manner Carolyn and sister, Mary, appeared. Each time, their dad offered undivided focus. Of course the children had motives and agendas for finding their father. One needed money. The other requested permission to go out after the game. The youngest sought solace after having been taunted by bullies. His sister longed for words of encouragement. She had forgotten her routine, lost her way, and dropped the flag!
Eventually each child pulled away from daddy. One by one smiles appeared and off they ran, returning to their worlds of play and responsibility. I turned to my brother-in-law. “How, in the midst of this monster crowd, did all four children find you?”
“Oh,” he replied and smiled warmly. “I am always right here. Believe me, they know where to find their father.”
My nieces and nephew are not alone. We all have a Father, Almighty God, who sits on His throne in heaven, ever present, never changing, and always available to give us what we need: a daily provision, a comforting word, encouragement to persevere, or balm for broken hearts.
Like the children in the stories of Jesus, these young teens led me to a realization, forcing me to ask myself, “Do I know where to find my Father?” Do you?
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, Never let me forget where You are. Keep me ever mindful that I can come to You whenever I need You. Thank You for being always faithful. I am amazed at Your love for me, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Who Holds the Keys to Your Heart?, by Lysa TerKeurst
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes
God’s nature is not only to be Father to His children, but to teach us how to parent. Commit to becoming closely acquainted with your heavenly Father, searching His ways in order to perfect your skills as the nurturer of your own children.
How well do I know God?
Do I know where to find God?
Do I believe God is always available to take me into His care and generously give me what I need and, even sometimes, what I desire?
Power Verses: Proverbs 8:17, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart…” (ESV)
Acts -28, “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near.” (MSG)
Originally published Wednesday, 06 December 2006.