“Mom? Where are you?”
Those few words coming from such a timid voice caught me off guard. That tone is rarely emitted from my middle child, my 10 year old boy, Ben. He is definitely the most confident of my three children. He seems to know who he is and be proud of it, never sorry for his limitations, but fully embracing the things that make him unique. I absolutely love this about him!
We had stopped about three-quarters the way through an evening bike ride at a small park. He took a turn on the swings and I rode around the little bike/walk path. As I got to the edge of the playground, I called to Ben telling him it was time to go. I saw him jump from the swing and grab his bike as I rode to the driveway waiting to get back on our route home. There was one lonely car in the parking lot, but it was positioned in just such a way that Ben could not see where I was.
“Right here! At the driveway.”
With much relief Ben replied, “Oh! I thought you left me.”
What?! How did this boy think I left him? I would never do that! I have never done that! And yet, this was his fear, the reason his voice was unsure as he called my name. Almost immediately, after reassuring him of course, I thought about how often I, we, might respond to God in much the same way.
He gives us assurance in His word that He will never leave us.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. –Deuteronomy 31:8
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. –Psalm 9:10
For the Lord will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance. –Psalm 94:14
In addition to verses like the above, there are numerous accounts of his faithfulness to His people.
He fulfilled his promise to Abraham to make him the father of many nations.
He helped a shepherd boy named David defeat the warrior giant Goliath.
He kept Jonah alive in the belly of a fish.
He shut the mouths of hungry lions when Daniel was thrown in for praying.
He delivered His people through an unlikely queen named Esther.
He led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land.
He lifted up the marginalized.
He strengthened Paul.
He continues to show His faithfulness today. Experiences can be read in biographies of people who faced great challenges and yet God remained, people like Corrie tenBoom, survivor of the Holocaust, or Brother Andrew (you should totally read the book “God’s Smuggler”) who smuggled Bibles, preached, and encouraged believers behind the Iron Curtain. Added to those are our very own experiences of God’s love, mercy, compassion, and kindness. And yet…
“Oh! I thought you left me.”
While I admit to having felt this way, and can slip into it quickly if I am not careful, I have learned to stop at “Mom (in Ben’s case), God (in mine}? Where are you?” and then look for Him in the places I know I can find Him.
- in a gorgeous sunset
- n the morning songs of the birds
- in a gentle breeze in the quiet of evening
- n the forgiveness of a friend (because that’s just like Jesus)
- in memories of the past
- in the lessons of my children
- in His words to me (the Bible)
As I look, something changes…
“Oh! There You are!”
…and although circumstances may not have changed, this is much better place to be!