I firmly believe that if we have our ears attuned to God’s voice and our eyes fixed upon Him, we will understand that God can reveal Himself to us in every situation in our lives. The circumstances themselves may not be entirely pleasurable—as in the case of His revelation to me last weekend—but I rejoice that no matter the circumstances-- God is able to reveal the depth of His love for me, and for you.
So, how did He speak to my heart last weekend? My husband and I were watching our 2½ year- old grandson and almost one -year old granddaughter while my son and daughter-in-law are away on a much deserved weekend retreat. We thoroughly enjoy our time with them, and yet-- as most if not all grandparents will attest—we understand why God had us bear children in our younger years! (Except for biblical characters like Sarah and Abraham, and they had lots of servants to help them out!) After a wonderful, packed day with our grandchildren, my husband and I were exhausted, so following a couple of hours of respite, we ‘hit the hay’. I had just fallen asleep when our grandson let out a cry of terror. I rushed to his crib and found that he had thrown up all over his crib. I immediately took him to the bathroom, he threw up once more, and then I sat with him on the floor for some time to see if he was going to have another bout. He didn’t seem feverish and said his tummy felt fine, so after getting the soiled sheets off the bed and putting fresh linens on it, I laid him back down. No sooner had I put him down and gone to my room to go back to sleep, I heard him cry out again. He had gotten sick again. We went back to our vigil on the floor by the toilet.
After quite some time, I thought it was safe to put him back down again—after of course changing out the bed linens—but regrettably, it was not; he got sick again. I finally decided the only way he’d be fine is if he lay on me and near the toilet, but not on the bathroom tile floor again because it was too cold. So I moved the rocking chair from his bedroom to outside of the bathroom. He snuggled next to me, and assumed a position where he slept fitfully, and I slept not at all. He became more restless and I was uncomfortable, so I thought it would be a better idea for us to both lay down outside of the bathroom on the carpeted floor together. By this time, he was thoroughly exhausted, had eliminated everything from his tummy, and fell right to sleep.
Once he was asleep, I knew I could go into the bedroom right around the corner from him and go to sleep—which I desperately needed at this point—but I also knew it was important to him that I lay right next to him in case he awoke again feeling sick or just needing my comfort. So that, along with the fact I’d already gone through several sets of sheets, ruled out putting him back into his crib. I thought about taking him to the bed where my husband and I had been sleeping, but I was concerned that my grandson could awaken and get sick again in the bed and I didn’t want to risk his giving the virus to my husband. So I remained right by his side on the floor. And, as I lay there, gladly choosing to forfeit my comfort and restful sleep for the remainder of the night in order to be by his side, I felt Jesus speak to my heart:
“Like John (my grandson) you were sick—sick with sin—and you needed me to come to your rescue. I didn’t leave all of the glories of Heaven to come down to earth to take care of you and then to leave you on your own. I came to be Immanuel—’God with you’— to remain with you in order to provide for your every need. I have given you the Holy Spirit to dwell within you, to guide and teach you, to encourage and comfort you, and to remind you of my constant Presence and unfailing love. Just as you were gladly willing to give up your sleep and comfort for John’s sake and to do all you could for him throughout the night, remember that I am always by your side, always at work on your behalf, and I will never leave or forsake you. If you ever doubt how much I love you and what I am willing to do for you, remember what you were willing to do for John, and know that my love for you is far, far greater than your love for him could ever be. You will grow weary and eventually fall asleep, but I neither slumber nor sleep; I am continually by your side, watching over you, ready at an instant to do what is best for you. As John trusts you, how much more should you trust Me?! I know that you would do all in your power for John, but you cannot provide for his every need. Only I can. And only I can provide for all of your needs. And I will. As you delight in having John by your side and watching over him, I delight in being by your side and continually keeping watch over you; I rejoice over you with singing!
As I lay there next to my grandson who had finally fallen peacefully asleep by my side, my heart was bursting with joy! Joy because my Heavenly Father had used this unforeseen circumstance— one that I would not have chosen— to reveal to me the depth of His love for me, the constancy of His presence, protection, and provision in my life, and He gave me a keener awareness of the joy that He experiences watching over me and caring for my every need. How great is our Father’s love for us, His beloved children! How blessed we are to have such a good, caring, loving Lord and Heavenly Father!
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121 ESV
If you ever doubt your Heavenly Father’s love for you, I encourage you to think of the love you have for someone on earth and what you have done-- or would be wiling to do for them-- and then contemplate how much greater your Heavenly Father’s love is for you! And just as I didn’t take my grandson into bed with my husband due to my love for my husband and concern for his well-being, keep in mind that at the same time that God is watching over you, He is also watching over others and doing what is best for them too. He alone is able to provide for everyone’s need and in a way that is best for everyone. God is always at work on your behalf, and on behalf of all of those He loves and who love Him!
Written by Julie