“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10: 29-31
Last Sunday I dropped off three of my grandsons at summer camp. One is 10 and the twins are 7. There is archery, proper use of guns and target practice, a lake for swimming and jumping onto and off a huge blob from a high tower, canoeing, places to fall from, et cetera, et cetera. You know what it’s all about. So I would be lying if I said that no worries about their safety crossed my mind. My wife and I recommended the camp to their parents, so I feel responsible. And why should I worry when another son-in-law runs the camp and has a spectacular safety record and terrific staff. Well, it’s the nature of things. You worry. It is the nature of being human and a parent/grandparent. If it were not the case Jesus would not have addressed the issue of worry so forthrightly. Basically, He tells us not to do what we naturally do; worry! Yet I know that I myself and other parents, dear friends, who trust in His instruction and promise have had their fears come true in devastating reality. God appears not to have protected these physical lives for they are now gone from us. So what is a Christian parent or grandparent to do?
In The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis cleverly addresses common tactics of our great enemy, who utilizes worry to the fullest in his attacks on us. “[Senior devil Screwtape to junior devil Wormwood] There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the enemy. He (God) wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business (the devils) is to get them thinking about what will happen to them. Precisely; we men and women worry more about the possibilities of what might happen to us or loved ones than about how we live our lives daily in view of the truth of God’s sovereignty and our eternal home. And all this with the expressed truth from the Savior that His and His Father’s love and concern for us is such that He knows us and our lives thoroughly, even to the point of numbering the hairs on our personal heads. (I know for a few of you that is not so difficult…But you get the point!)
God never mistakenly leads us to a conclusion that this life is not filled with tribulation and trial. Nor does He ever leave us alone to face it by ourselves. If we sense ourselves alone, we have purposely chosen that route. Because His promise proven over and over to those who place their trust in Him is, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:5-6) To persevere in the trials of each and every day He gives us our daily bread (what we need), and reassures us with this “solid rock:” “His mercies are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:23) If in God’s providence a loved one is taken from us, we have the promise of being joyfully reunited to their fellowship in the place He has prepared for us. Being so anchored to the condition of immediacy, the “clear” present, we have a hard time accepting the all-encompassing, long-range providence of our compassionate and sovereign God. But so it is… and shall be. We cannot change the truth of the matter wallowing in anxiety and disabling fear. Anna Waring’s hymn says it well, “I ask Thee for the daily strength, To none that ask denied, A mind to blend with outward life, While keeping at Thy side, Content to fill a little space, If Thou be glorified.”
So I leave these three grandsons, as well as all my children and grandchildren in better care than I can constantly or consistently provide, and trust in the sure hands of my and their eternal Father. Though I must admit I still need regular reminders from His Word.
“Heavenly Father, worry comes so easily, and just as easily distracts me from the peace of your presence and promise. In Your mercy remind me that You never leave me, nor forsake me, mine, or Yours.
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