I am sure most of us are familiar with this call, coming from a child, with a distinct tone that says something is most definitely very wrong. I found myself awakened at 2:00 a.m. this morning to this call. It was one of my children, and in my haze, I found myself running toward their rooms as I was waking up. It seemed as though my body reacted before my mind even had a chance to register the call. I am sure all you parents can relate. As parents we seem to have this built in sense that responds instantaneously when one of our little ones is in danger. It isn’t choice, it’s instinct.
So I found my little Hope on the bathroom floor, obviously suffering from an acute stomach virus. We cleaned her up, got her back into bed with the cold cloth on her head. And what did I do? What any of you would do of course. I climbed into that raging cesspool of bacteria and virus (aka her bed) snuggled up close and held her hand.
The germaphobe in me would have run in the other direction if it had been anyone else but my baby. But because it was my little sweetie, I braved what I know to be sure infection to bring her some comfort. It’s ok if I get sick, as long as she is well taken care of.
I know all of you are the same way. The care of our children is paramount to anything else going on in our lives. We would do anything to make sure our kids are safe and healthy. So I am contemplating today, those instances in which I can’t be there. As my children grow older, I am confronted with the fact that there are so many things outside my control. As they step out into this world each day, the dangers of sickness, hurt, and injury are all around them. So what is a parent to do?
I have learned that I can’t always keep my arms wrapped around them, but God can. He walks with them everywhere they go. I have learned to release them into His loving arms each day and trust that He cares for them more than I do. To have any peace of mind, I have to intentionally do this, or else I would go crazy with worry when they are out of my sight.
The way that I remember His constant watchfulness over them is by praying this psalm. Believe me, I have it memorized by now. Maybe all you parents out there might find it helpful as well. But not only do I pray it over my children, I have taught it to them as well. It is my hope when they are in trouble, and possibly alone, that they can remember to call out, “Father, help!” And trust that our heavenly Father is there running to answer.
Peace brothers and sisters.
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”