July 25

Encouragement for Today

 

“God, the Parent”

Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

 

Isaiah 40:11, “Like a Shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arms He will gather the lambs, and carry them in His bosom.” (The Open Bible)

 

Devotion:

 

I was lucky that day. The results could have been devastating. After I buckled my two children into their cars seats, the realization of what might have been hit me hard. My daughter could have been badly hurt, and worse yet, I may have never seen my son again.

 

The lines were long that day at the grocery store. So when the sack boy loaded the last bag of groceries into the cart, I offered to take them to the car myself. This was a brave move on my part since I had my 4 year-old daughter and my 8 month-old son with me. Still, I felt confident that I could manage.

 

Although my daughter was petite in form, she was being a “big” girl that day. With one hand, I was pushing the buggy full of groceries by the handle, and with the other hand, I held my son on my hip while Peyton helped me guide the cart from the other end.

 

All was going well until we drove the buggy down the concrete slope that merged the sidewalk onto the parking lot. That’s when it happened. The weight of the chart pulled loose from my grip and trampled my daughter to the ground. Pinned under the chart, she screamed for help.

 

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed before, but a mother’s heart is naturally drawn to the child who is in trouble — whatever that trouble may be. At that moment, my daughter desperately needed me. I don’t recall thinking about what to do, I just acted. Turning to my side, I handed my baby boy to a total stranger so that I could attempt to rescue my daughter.

 

Several people stopped to help me lift the buggy from her frail body. At this point, both my daughter and I were crying. Once she was free, I held her tight and reassured her that she was okay. Then, I searched her body for injuries. Thankfully, there were none. Mainly, it just scared us both. As I began to calm down from the traumatic experience, my thoughts returned to my son. Horrified, I realized what I had done. How could I? How could I have left my son alone with a stranger?

 

“Parker!” I cried, turning back toward the direction where I had handed him over to the stranger. I could feel my heart beating inside my chest. Franticly, I searched the small crowd that had assembled, until finally, our eyes met. Still in the stranger’s arms, he kicked his cubby little legs with excitement as he recognized me. Holding tight to my daughter’s hand, I dragged her along as I ran toward my son. Unknowing of any danger, he smiled at me with a toothless grin. He was okay. Unlike me, my son had not been afraid, not for a minute. In his innocence, he trusted where I had placed him … in the arms of a stranger.

 

“Thank you for holding him,” I said to the stranger as I took my son from her arms.

 

  “Thank you for still being there when I turned back around,” I said silently to myself.

 

Once we were safely inside the car, my fear began to subside as I thanked God for no broken bones and for protecting my son. As I prayed, I felt His presence comfort me as I had just comforted my daughter. I could almost hear Him say…

 

“I’ve looked you over child, and there are no cuts. Mainly, you were just scared. But, there is no reason to be afraid. I was with you, and you were safe in My presence.”

 

I’ve learned so much about my heavenly Father from being a parent. With compassion, He, too, is drawn to His children who are in trouble. It doesn’t matter what the problem is…sickness, depression, betrayal, a wayward child, or a woman struggling to be a good mom. God has promised to “never leave or forsake us” even if He places us in a situation that calls us to trust Him (Hebrews 13:11). Like my infant son, we have no need to fear. In the midst of trouble, we can rest in the protective arms of our Heavenly Father. For who else is more sufficient to care for us than God, our Parent?

 

My Prayer for Today

 

Dear Lord, with child-like faith, I’m comforted to know that you will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you for always being near and caring for me with a Fatherly love. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

 

If you are facing a situation with fear right now, run into the Father’s arms and let Him handle your burden. Allow Him to do what He longs to do for you; pull you up into His lap, wipe away the tears and your fears, and comfort you as He works in your situation in a way only He can do.

 

Reflection Points:

 

Do you carry the burden of fixing your own circumstances?

 

What have you benefited from doing that?

 

How can trusting your heavenly Father bring you rest and peace, as you trust Him to work on your behalf?

 

Power Verses:

 

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.” (NKJ)

 

Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (NKJ)

 

Proverbs 3:25, 26, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” (NKJ)

 

Psalm 56:11, “In God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid. W can man do to me?” (NKJ)

 

Additional Resources:

 

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_radicallyObedient.htm

 

At Home with God, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_atHome.htm

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/woman.htm