Encouragement for Today - July 4, 2007
God is Always There
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15 (NIV)
The children in the first grade “special needs” class were excited about the upcoming performance. They had practiced the songs for weeks and were ready to show all they had learned to their parents. James was no exception.
James’ life was difficult. He was being raised by a somewhat detached father and grandmother. James’ dad was on disability, and could easily retreat into himself. In the classroom James had a hard time following the rules. His inappropriate talking, interrupting, and disobedience resulted in many consequences for him. In spite of James’ situation, he was excited about the program.
The day finally came for the recital. Invitations had been sent out and everyone was ready. It was planned at the end of the school day so parents could arrive a little early, then take their kids home after the performance.
The auditorium filled up with many of the parents. The kids sang with gusto and the parents smiled proudly. Lita Jo, the teacher’s assistant, sat in the front row making sure the kids stayed on course and actually sang. Everyone sang, except James. “Oh James,” Lita Jo thought, “come on, sing.” She caught his eyes and tried to encourage him.
Then it hit her. James was looking for his father and didn’t see him. Tears were in his eyes, but he was TRYING to smile, TRYING to sing. But he was too occupied with trying to locate his father. He would start to sing, but then look out. No father. Every song! There were six of them. Still no father.
The performance ended and everyone applauded. James hung his head as the auditorium emptied. Lita Jo stood by his side, not saying anything about James’ father. It was too painful.
At the usual time, James’ dad came to pick him up. James immediately asked: "Where were you Dad? Why didn't you come? We were singing."
Lita Jo stood quietly by, anxious to hear the response. "Oh, I forgot about it … I was nursing a migraine."
A parent’s omission meant a child’s pain. How many James are there in the world? Little boys and girls, grown men and women, with no one to root for them. Standing on the stage of life, their tearful eyes scan the audience looking for someone to care, someone to love them enough to watch their singing. Although the audience might be devoid of human attention, God is always there.
Will someone tell James there is a Heavenly Father who will never miss a recital? Will James ever know the faithful love of God? Even the best parent can disappoint us at times. But what a joy that we have a Heavenly Father who is always watching. He never forgets. Never. When we worship Him, His eyes are on us. When we dance for Him, He delights in us. When our hearts are ready to break, our Heavenly Father comforts us.
If you have ever longed for this type of faithful love, we invite you to meet your loving Heavenly Father. He’s been watching you since you were born. He’s been at every concert, every recital, every game, cheering you on. If you’d like a relationship with this amazing Heavenly Father, there’s no better time than now. Visit Do You Know Him? for more information.
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your faithful love. Thank You for always being near and for never forgetting me. Help me to accept Your love and to trust You more fully. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Celebrate Flag Day, a June 2007 ETC article
Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George
Identify a time when someone you loved let you down. Bring this memory to God, and ask Him to bring you comfort.
Does a person’s physical presence communicate his or her love? Why or why not?
How does knowing that God is always near make you feel?
Does this truth inspire you to make any changes in your life?
Psalm 33:13-15, “From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth - he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” (NIV)
Psalm 121: 2-3, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber …” (NIV)
Micah 7:7, “But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” (NAS)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105