Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Nightly Ritual...

Each and every night, I have a ritual that I do.... I tiptoe into the back bedroom stepping over scattered Lego landmines and laundry that has overtaken the carpeted floor.  I, first, pull back the covers on one son who cannot sleep unless he is buried under a quilted sea. He often gets too hot and I find a sticky sweat covered face.  Then, I look to our youngest son who cannot seem to go to sleep with anything covering him.  It is not uncommon to find him curled into a tight ball longing for warmth.  Two boys, same room- yet differences abound.

That is parenting, huh?  Knowing your child so intimately that you know when to pull back and give them freedom to fail and grow as well as when the time is right to draw in close and pour words of wisdom into their hearts and minds.  Do I pull back the things in their life that are harmful or that will lead them into sticky situations?  Do I diligently cover them in prayer daily?  Recognizing that life will often leave them cold and looking for comfort-- oh, may they find it in HIM!  Friends, I do this every single night. As their mother, I cannot rest until I know that they are well tended and cared for in their beds.  Often, this has driven me from my nice cozy bed...

How intimately does the Father know you?

"GOD, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers—out of here!— all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. See how I hate those who hate you, GOD, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies!

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life." (‭Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭1-24‬ MSG)

The Father knows EVERYTHING about His children.... and He is ALWAYS with them.  There are times when he will allow you to sweat out sticky situations to see areas that you need to strip out of your life.  There are also times when He allows you to feel the chill of a life lived in your own self-sufficient efforts in order for you to see and long for His protective covering.  Yet, He is ever on guard and watching over you.  That is the nature of a loving relationship....a protective Father allowing His child the opportunity to grow and mature.

1. Is the Father revealing an area that you need to "strip" out of your life?  How have you seen His protective covering in your life?

2. What part of Psalm 139 touched you most?  Did any part of the Psalm surprise you?

3. How does it feel to know that the Father is always with you, if you are His child?  Does it bring comfort or make you anxious?  Why?


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