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He Watches Over You

Here's a "word picture" that was whispered to my heart while enjoying a summertime festival recently.

I had taken our 10 year old son to a fairly large outdoor celebration at a local church (at which several hundred people seemed to be in attendance) ... music, games, food, petting zoo, etc. ... you get the picture. We had met up with a friend of his, along with that boy's family. Of course, my son and his friend wanted to explore all the events, and wander through the crowd. I didn't want to "hover" ... and at the same time, I wanted to keep a close eye on them, since it was a very large crowd, covering a lot of "ground".

I followed them fairly closely. So closely in fact, that at one point during the day, the other boy's mother told me that although she had originally been concerned about them ... she had watched me keeping my eye on them so diligently that she figured they were completely safe, and she didn't have to think about it further :) .

As the day progressed, I realized that these 10 year olds might be wanting a little more "breathing room", so I backed off slightly, letting them play uninterrupted for quite a while; hanging back just enough so that I could still see them ... but they were not aware of me.

After a while, it was obvious that they were done playing. I saw my son venture out from where they had been; now beginning to search the crowd for me. I made my presence known before the point where the "panic" would have begun to set in for him. Once he saw me coming toward him, he proceeded to take my hand and walk with me happily, without skipping a beat ... hardly having noticed my absence for more than a brief moment.

Reaching Out

As I have watched many of my friends parent their children, I have noticed that somewhere around this age (10) kids often begin to draw back a bit, as they approach adolescence. There's a tendency to stop hugging or holding their parent's hand in public, etc.

I try to be sensitive to these changes.... Still, when in situations where there are large crowds, or potentially dangerous situations, I will reach out for my son's hand, and he will take my hand without a second thought.

I am even fortunate enough that for the time being, every now and then HE will actually reach out his hand to ME, when he senses a potentially difficult situation. At those times, my heart seems to smile just a little, knowing that he still knows who is always eager to protect him.

We are His Children

As my son and I walked, I believe the Spirit whispered to my heart something about my relationship with God. In the Bible book of John (1:12-13), it says: "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." And the "he" to whom these words refer, is Jesus Himself. If we have faith in Jesus, He is saying that He has given us the right to become God's "children".

In thinking of God as my "parent", this image becomes clear.... As I grow, He often allows me to "have some space". There are even times when I am virtually unaware that He is even involved in what goes on in my life ... going about my days carefree as a child. In some ways, that's a good thing. After all, Jesus often urged His followers to become like little children (Matt 17:3).

Even though I am not always aware of Him, that doesn't mean that He does not see and care about what is happening in my life. In fact, often all I need to do in the midst of trying times, is to look up to Him, and realize He's right there, ready to reach out His hand to me. In fact He's been there all along.

His Eyes Search for You

The Bible says: "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him..." (2 Chronicles 16:9a)

Whether you know Him as your Father or not, His heart is toward you and for you. He longs to know you and be known by you. If you do not yet know Him, He desires to come into a loving Father/child relationship with you through Jesus.

If you already have such a relationship, won't you let Him remind you that He is watching over you and your concerns, whether you are aware of it or not?

And maybe ... just maybe ... might you simply humble your heart enough to lift up your eyes, and reach your own hand up to Him? I have a feeling it might just put a "knowing" smile right on His face, as He reaches down His mighty hand into your situation... ... to protect you, to sustain you, to encourage you, to let you know you're not alone, and most of all--to love you.

And you don't need to wait until you're in "trouble" to reach out ... He's waiting and watching ALL the time. Ready to walk beside you and enter into every aspect of your life ... right here ... right now....

Psalm 121

"I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip--he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you--the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm--he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."

July 17, 2004

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