Separated from her parents by pressing crowds at the County Fair, a 4-year-old girl screams out. “Mommy, Daddy, where are you?”
And the parents? “A minute ago she was right here! Just for a few seconds we took our eyes off of her to check out this craft, and now she’s gone? Where did she go?”
Is there anything more terrifying for that little girl? Only strangers wherever she looks. No Mommy, no Daddy to hold her. Comfort her and assure her, “Here I am! Oh, my precious child! There’s nothing to be afraid of. I’ll take care of you.”
And as for the parents? What a flood of emotions are surging through their minds during those anxious moments? “Where did my baby go? Did someone take her?” What a relief when Mom and Dad, just yards away but shielded by the crowd, hear their child’s cry and come running.
My wife and I were so concerned about this when our daughter, Tori, was little, that we bought a kid-leash for her. More than a few times we were glad we had it. It kept her tied to us—literally.
Do you ever fear that the Lord has lost you? Because of an illness? Accident? The loss of a job or income? Failing health? The loss of a loved one? Or the tinderbox our world has become in Ukraine? The Middle East? Do you ever stop and wonder, “Where are you, God? Don’t you care about me? Don’t you know that I am here?”
In Psalm 139, David assures us that the Lord knows our fears. Our God is never separated from us, though we may feel he is. In fact, the Lord fences us in, behind us and ahead of us. He encircles us with his love and forgiveness. We can’t escape his watchful eye whether we are surrounded by thousands at a football game or concert, at work, at school, on the lake, or deep in the dense woods. Nor does he pull back his loving hand even in the middle of a burning house, collapsing tower, stormy sea, or smashed car. In our lowest moment or in our best--he is always there. If we forget him, he will still surround us with his love and care and compassion. His hand holds our very steps. For he knows how helpless we can be at handling our day-to-day needs. . .and our eternal futures. In fact, even if we try to get away – we can’t. He keeps his steady hand on us, and he keeps us fenced in – just so we will be forever safe.
Yet why does our Father watch us so closely? Guard us so zealously? Because he has invested the blood of his Son in us! And because his Spirit has opened our eyes to see his light, a light that beams brightly even in this world so lost in the darkness of sin. That, my dear friends, is grace.
Privileged to serve,
Rev. Glenn Schwanke