My New Year’s Message

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’ Deuteronomy 33:27 ESV

17 years ago we used to bring two of our grandsons to church. At three and one years old this was a challenge during the song service, while I was alone with them and Nancy sang with the worship team. Nathan, who was the older, was generally happy to sit and clap his hands – but not AJ. Oh no, he wanted in on the action and decided that I had to hold him so he could see what was going on! Now, I loved holding him in my arms for the first song, but by the chorus of the second, he started getting heavy and by the third I was desperate for some help. Today’s verse talks about God’s everlasting arms and I discovered that mine most definitely were not!

As we enter this new year, with all of its challenges, opportunities and scary unknowns, we need the One whose arms alone can carry us through. If we will trust Christ as Savior, then whatever we face we can know that God’s got us in His arms. They are underneath us even when we are at our lowest and He will never let us go!

Before We Had Faces

Before we had faces
And we had no voice at all
When no one else could see us
And we were small – small – small

God pulled out the plans He’d made
And Laid them out to see
And then traced out the pattern
He would use for you and me

First He penciled in some happy days
To balance days of grief
And over all he poured His grace
To help our unbelief

Then He stamped His image on our hearts
And He signed the bottom line
So we would be delivered
At exactly His own time!

Before We Had Faces by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright ©2022
All Rights Reserved

Letting Them Fly

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Psalm 127:4 ESV

One pitfall of growing older is wishing we could hold on to our children (both spiritual and physical). We loved the days when we held them on our laps to tell them stories. Such longing too quickly turns to depression, guilt or blaming someone for the change. But as today’s verse tells us, our offspring are not furniture for our homes or precious jewels to be kept in a safe deposit box. They are arrows which the good Lord has entrusted to our hands for a season. Arrows that stay in the quiver during life’s battles aren’t doing what God intended.

Of course, we innately know this about the kiddos who grow up in our homes. The big guy with the cowboy hat is our youngest son and we are delighted that he isn’t sleeping on our sofa eating nachos and watching tv! But, for those of us who have served in ministry it is far more difficult with spiritual children. We pray for them, weep with them, visit them in the hospital and eat at the same table in their homes. And then one day they are gone. It feels as if we did all the hard work and someone else now gets to enjoy the benefits! But the reality is they never belonged to us at all. They were God’s and He gave us the enormous privilege of having them as arrows in our hands for just a little while. We have put them on our bowstring, aimed them at the target and now they are flying towards the goal that God has for them. Be encouraged today that whether you are struggling in letting go of natural or spiritual children, that God keeps records. They may think of us little, never call or even remember that we taught them to fly. But flying is what God has intended. It is a beautiful sight, and He always remembers and rewards our labor of love!