Goodnight Prayers and Kisses

Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. Isaiah 46:4 ESV

After three weeks of visiting with family and friends we are saying goodbye. I think most of all I will miss morning walks with our grandchildren. Their loud happy excitement and curiosity have more than kept both I and my wife on our toes and worn us out. But how I will miss those goodnight kisses and prayers tomorrow. How good to know as I shed a tear or two that someone greater than I still listens to my own goodnight prayers and kisses me on the cheek each night as these graying hairs lie down on my pillow!

My morning walking friend
My afternoon walking buddies

God’s Benefits

I confess I do not always wake up with a shout of joy as I stumble towards the coffee maker. Today with just a few hours of sleep before we get on the plane is no exception. But as we come to the end of our two week stay with family I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I see how God has been faithful to us and as I give our grandchildren parting hugs and kisses I see in their faces the reflection of heaven.

Despite their difficulties, disabilities and circumstances beyond ther control Jesus has kept us together in the bonds of His love. And in face of uncertainty He has promised benefits in today’s verse. God reminds us that He is not simply the God of the stars and eternity, He also offers to be called the God of our salvation. Imagine now what He holds in store for the future if His benefits begin with salvation! That ought to be enough to get us out of bed with a shout of joy and faith. He is going with us through whatever lies ahead and will be with us till the end!

Jesus Take the Wheel

Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Worrying over our grandchildren’s relationship with Jesus has been a recurring theme for me lately. When they were small things seemed pretty simple. We took them to church, prayed with them and at every opportunity made sure they had plenty of cookies. But now they are older things have changed. Some days it feels as if I am slogging through a mud bog, when I try to communicate even the basics of what it means to be a Christian. As I tossed and turned through another middle of the night worry session recently, God’s peace seemed light years away.

Then the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that I wasn’t doing them or myself any good. While I had been trying to overwhelm them with good arguments or coax them towards an interest in Jesus, I was forgetting that ultimately that job is His and that He loves them way more than I do. It is hard to trust God with people who are the closest to us. Yielding control over our spouse, a child a grandchild or a friend means letting God take over. What we really need to do is like what Carrie Underwood sings, “Jesus take the wheel!” We need to release our grip so that God can steer. Jesus won’t rip the steering wheel away from us. He will allow us as many nights as we wish to toss and turn. But if we are worn out with worry and fed up with fear God is waiting and even longing for us to trust that He knows how to fix the situation better than we do. Only He has the strength to carry us our worries and has promised a peace that stretches from our anxious hour all the way to heaven!