Abandonment

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

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I had the honor of visiting and sitting with someone at the hospital on Friday.  She was a young lady of 80 years old, turning 81 this month.  She told me she had surgery scheduled to fix two leaky heart valves.  Once I arrived and talked with a family member I discovered that what she thought was going to be surgery to fix the problem turned into two procedures to investigate the heart and valves to see what surgery would work best.  The family member said she was disappointed, however her smile and words were no indication of disappointment.

She was scheduled for the first procedure at 11:30 and had been bumped several times, getting in the operating room around 2.  She was in ICU from 2:30 to almost 5:00 waiting for an open operating room for the second procedure.  Smiles and kinds words continued to drip from her mouth to all of those who came in contact with her.  No frustration, fear or anger for being bumped and the long wait.

As I sat with this lady she talked about God non-stop.  All his blessings in her life.  She talked about her marriage of almost 60 years, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her spiritual journey.  She talked about the many times she could have died but didn’t because God choose to keep her around.  She talked about how she loves to go to church because she loves God and wants to be there every time she can to worship Him, to praise Him, to sing to Him and to be with other Christians. She said how hard it was to get up to go to church on Sundays and how she longed for the days when she could go Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday nights.  She spoke of week long revivals, events the church held throughout the year and how she used to volunteer to work at the church as often as the church would have her.  Most of all she talked about how people today don’t feel this way and how it made her sad.

As we sat waiting on the second procedure, I shared with her how I admired her, her faith and her love of God.  She called me close and whispered that in her lifetime she had voice God speak clearly and directly to her and today was one of those times.  She stated as they were putting her to sleep she heard God tell her that He did not want her to be afraid because He would be with to the very end.  She held my hand, looked me directly in the eyes and said “you know JoAnne, God will never abandon me. Never.  AND I KNOW that that was God talking to me.”

What faith.  What a witness.  What a great woman of God.  After the second procedure the doctors told the family that her heart was not strong enough to withstand the surgery.  They said they would prescribe medication that might help but at this point there was nothing they could do.  She was not disappointed, not angry not afraid.  She simply repeated God’s promise “to be with her to the end.”  That made everything alright with her. Sunday morning, she was in the church.  She was worshiping God, praising God and fellowshipping with other Christians with a smile and joy that only God can give.

I don’t know who on this post is struggling with abandonment issues.  Maybe you feel abandoned by a mother or father.  Maybe you feel abandoned by a friend, a boss, someone you were in a serious relationship with, your spouse or a child.  Who knows, maybe you feel abandoned by God.

I want to encourage you today.  Today’s scripture is a promise and God keeps his promises.  People may leave you but God never will.  If you are going through a trial it doesn’t mean God has left you. We are promised in this world we will have troubles.  God told us that so we could expect it, not like, but know it was coming.  He tells us we don’t have to worry about those trials because He will be with us and help us to overcome the trials.

I love what this wonderful woman of God said to me and I believe it with all that I am.  GOD WILL BE WITH YOU TO THE END!! My family used old southern saying which would be appropriate with her words, “Now you can put that in your pipe and smoke it”.  The phrase was used after stating something surprising or undesired, to emphasize its truth. This 80 year old woman spoke the word with TRUTH.

 

Grandchildren

Today’s Truth: However, be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you don’t forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes. Don’t let them fade from your memory as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 (GW)

From My Heart To Yours:

I am fortunate enough to be blessed with 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren. 4 of them live in the same town as I do, 1 lives 1 1/2 away in another town and the last one lives 2 hours away in a different town. We always try to find time for us to visit the grandkids or for them to visit us. Last week I kept the youngest grandchild, Bryson, who is almost 1-year-old, for 5 days. This weekend I have the other 6 grandchildren for 10 days. Whew I am tired just thinking about it.

The scripture for today is one that I try hard to remember and practice every time I am with my grandchildren. I really do love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind and I want them to love Him as I do. Every time I am with them I try to find ways to add God into the conversation.

Over the next 10 days I plan to blog about my grandbabies, better known as gbabies, and tell you some of the creative ways we get to talk about God. I will also share with you things they tell me about God. This should be an interesting week of God talk. I am sure I will learn a few things from them about God that I did not know before and I can’t wait to share those with you too.

I have always known that I was blessed to have seen all my children grow up, get married and have children of their own but the scriptures talks about grandparents and grandchildren quite a bit.  God’s word describes blessing and gives instructions for grandparents.

Promises, Blessings and Instructions:

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.  Proverbs 17:6 (ESV)   I feel like a Queen with my gbabies.  It is wonderful to see the smiles, the excitement and shrills when I visit.  To them you can never do any wrong.  They love you even if you discipline them.  They take everything to heart that you say and hang on every word you speak.  If you say it they believe it!

May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!  Psalm 128:6 (ESV) It’s a blessing if you get to see your children’s children yet with the blessing comes great responsibilities.  I think it funny when I see the gbabies displaying some of the same traits that their parents have.  Every says, “When I grow up and have kids I will never….”  When they grow up guess what?  They do what they said they would never do.  Now they understand why their parents did it in the first place.  It gives me great pride and joy to see that the gbabies really are a lot like their parents because they have great parents.

“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:21 (ESV)  This scripture is a wonderful promise if we are telling our gbabies about God.  When I was a parent I was so busy working or cleaning or taking care of other things that I constantly stressed about everything.  Today’s culture is even more stressful for parents.  Because the parents are running here and running there, taking the kids to swim lessons, dance lesson and ball games they may not have the time to talk to the kids about God like we do as grandparents.  While our children, now parents themselves, are getting busier we, as grandparents, are slowing down.  Why do you think that is?  I think it is because with age comes wisdom.  We begin to see parenting differently.  We see life differently.  We see God differently.  We know as our life begins to slow down what things are most important in life.  God really becomes number one and a sense of urgency comes upon us to share that with those we love, to make a difference with the next generation.  Speak God’s words to your grandchildren, read them the bible, share stories of things he has done for you and their parents, tell them the bible stories in a way that they will remember them.  Speak the words to them so that will speak the words to their children and their grandchildren.

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 1 Timothy 5:3-4 (ESV)This is a long gone tradition but one that needs to resurface.  I remember as a little child my great-grandmother lived with us.  Her hospital bed sat in the middle of our living room.  We helped my mother take care of all her needs from food to bathing.  I can still hear her telling us stories of the old days and things about my dad that we thought were funny and interesting.  We loved her so much and missed her dearly after she passed.  I am very proud of my parents.  They made huge sacrifices to take care of my great-mother.  I always thought my parents were great parents, and they were, but they were also being obedient to what God said they should do.  I want to instill this in my children and grandchildren as well.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5 (ESV)  We must remember that what we do will affect our children and grandchild down the road.  As my pastor husband says “Your children will be more like you than you can ever imagine”.  Parents have to be aware at all times that our personalities, our behaviors, our traditions, our opinions etc will pass on to our children.  These things will pass on to our children’s children and to the third and fourth generation.  I want to be responsible for passing on things that make a difference.  Things of God.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, as parents, aunts and/or grandparents we know the long-term effects we can have on the little ones in our family.  Sometimes, we forget how important it is to make our conversations with them about you. Help us to remember to share our stories of blessings, the stories in the Bible and to encourage them to love you with all their heart, all their soul and all their minds. In Jesus Name. AMEN.