BLESSING THE CHILDREN

And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”  Mark 9:36

 

 

SHE BELIEVED IN ME.  She saw something that I couldn’t recognize, and she acted on it.  I was seven or eight years old, and she invited me to be her assistant teacher for our primary Sunday school class.  Because she asked me, I shyly accepted.  And so, Sis. Reed (that’s what we called older ladies in our church) provided a platform by which I would discover and hone my gift for teaching.  After all these years, I’m still at it.

Then there was “Sheltie,” an older man in our small church who mentored all the youngsters and loved each of us.  He, too, encouraged me to serve and even took me with him to visit the high school class he taught.  He believed in me, and I knew he cared about me.  I think all of us in the younger crowd felt the same way.

My husband had a long and distinguished career in law and on the bench and liked to talk about a teacher in high school who challenged him at the end of a semester saying, “Young man, you can make something out of yourself.”  Being a first-generation American, not many folks had taken time to encourage his talents.  Peter listened to her, set his course, and never looked back.

Some of us have children; some even have grandchildren; and we all have young lives around us who are looking to us to believe in them and encourage their wildest dreams.  We can become mentors or introduce them to those who will, and we can provide resources and experiences that will stir up the gifts God has placed in them.  The greatest investment we can make is in shaping and influencing a life to fill that spot reserved for him or her in the Kingdom.

Here’s a whole summer ahead of us.  What little one can we spend time with… read to… teach in VBS… affirm?   (I really wish I could thank Sheltie and Sis. Reed for the gifts of themselves.  Some day I plan to.)

 

 

Father, open our eyes to see the treasure of the little lives around us, and use us to bless them in your name.  AMEN.

THE DREAM*

For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears… Job 33:14-16a (NLT)

 

He was going through a rough patch, tougher than anything he had ever experienced.  Not only was he physically exhausted, but he felt emotionally and spiritually drained.  His spiritual friends were encouraging him to hold on to God, waiting for his intervention.  That was part of the problem.   He was so depleted; there was no longer strength in him to hold on.  He collapsed in his chair and closed his eyes.

As he drifted, he saw himself climbing a steep mountain.  It seemed to be made of granite, and he knew if he stopped climbing, he would fall into the sheer chasm below.  The more he climbed the more his small reserve of strength ebbed from his weakened body.  Finally, he reached a plateau that offered respite.

He reflected on how his friends and family had hailed him through the years as the strong, persistent leader who never quit, who never gave up.  And here he was on the climb of his life, unable to see the mountain’s peak yet knowing that stopping would be fatal.

In the midst of his painful reflections, he heard a thundering sound, and to his horror, he saw a great herd of Clydesdale horses stampeding toward him.  “This is the end,” he thought.  “Perhaps this is the peace that I’ve been craving.”  But still there was fear as the monstrous animals grew nearer with each second.

Finally, the leader of the herd galloped toward him and began lowering himself over his trembling body.  “I’ll be crushed,” he thought.  And suddenly, he cried out, “Oh, Jesus.”

The horse stopped abruptly and began to speak, “What did you say?” he asked.

“Jesus,” the man repeated.

“Oh, my precious Jesus,” was the response.  “Climb on my back, and I’ll carry you over these mountains.”

He awoke, knowing that he had been dreaming.  Even so, he knew it was true and could trust his Father to provide a way over the mountains.

 

Father, as I’ve watched my friend, I’ve learned that you do provide whatever we need for any occasion, no matter how difficult.  You have been faithful.  Cause us to glorify you in hard times by trusting you to make a way.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.

I have personal knowledge of this happening and know it to be true.