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!
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers
Proverbs 17:6 ESV
Four years ago, we retired and moved to Florida. Oh, the weather is grand, and I tolerate the heat and humidity, recalling that I will never have to dig my car out of three feet of snow again! We live in a nice quiet neighborhood, go to a nice church and life is easier. But I miss the Brazilian church where we attended and served on staff for 16 years. With Grandparent’s Day just around the corner, I am missing more and more, how our Brazilian brothers and sisters related to older people. Now, of course our Anglo church is respectful of older folks, and schedules lots of senior stuff, like luncheons and trips, but I miss being invited to birthday parties for 1 year-old’s and being asked to pray a blessing before we sang – Parabens pra voce! (Happy birthday). I miss heading out with everyone else for ice cream on hot summer nights after church and having young people hanging around with us at the church picnics.
Today’s verse lays out the model that God has in mind for us. It says that older people’s greatest glory is not going on a cruise with a bunch of other old folks but being included and honored among the people who are their children and grandchildren. One custom I loved was called “Bencoes” (Blessings) This meant that when a family visit was over, the young ones would run to their uncles, aunts or grandparents and ask for blessings before they left for home. They were remembering that we older people are carrying a blessing to give. So, let’s ask ourselves, “How can I give away a blessing to the younger people around me?” or if you are that younger person, “Who can I honor by asking their blessings on my life today?”
Though now the great and mighty try
To steal destroy and kill
They cannot change God’s plan of grace
Not now nor ever will
For there is no darkness deep
Nor terror running wild
That can still the praises from
God’s weakest tiny child
“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10 NKJV
God's Weakest Tiny Child by Peter Caligiuri
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