Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Friend Calms Fears

The morning of October 23, 1983 shook me to my core. Instead of being filled with anticipation for our upcoming 4th anniversary and our firstborn’s 2nd birthday, I was terrified. The news rocked this young mom’s world.
Being the dutiful stay-at-home mom, I had fixed my husband’s breakfast, ironed his shirt, and sent him on his way to work. After feeding my son and cleaning up the kitchen, I turned on the TV to catch the news before we played with some of his toys. Breaking news affirmed a bombing in Beirut, Lebanon had left 299 American and French servicemen dead. Some organization called Islamic jihad (not yet a household word) had claimed responsibility for the attack. I was stunned! I swiftly turned the channel to Sesame Street so that my son could watch his favorite characters in action and I could ease my mind with distraction. Later after playing outside, doing a load of laundry, and eating lunch, midday summoned a rocking chair, a book, and a nap. Finally he settled down to rest. Shutting my son’s door, I ran to my room to catch up on some quiet time with my Friend. We had to a talk about that bombing.
Life had changed for me since giving birth. My son occupied so much of my time (he didn’t like to sleep) that my bone-weary body usually napped whenever he did. I had also reached awareness of the stress that manifested itself in my life when I failed to spend daily time with my best Friend, Jesus. Keeping Him in the forefront of our lives usually dispelled tension. Early morning before everyone arose or naptime (if I could stay awake) had been set aside for conversation with God.
Entering my room, I opened my Bible and my devotional. The death of all those young men in Lebanon plagued my mind. Some mothers in America and France, whose sons served in the military, would be receiving heartbreaking news of their sons’ deaths. Now that I had given birth to a boy, fear flooded my mind. What if—I couldn’t bear to think of it. I opened my devotional and began crying out to God.
Having missed two days of quiet time, I read the devotion dated two days earlier. There’s nothing coincidental about God’s answer to our prayers. He had intended for me to read that particular message for the very day I read it. Not only did God bless me with a soothing answer to my fears, He taught me that He cares enough to answer my prayers through a familiar source. He covered me with His love, and our relationship intensified that day! Below is what I read:
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Psalm 34 (NIV)
Imagine crying out to God, laying your fears at His feet, and reading His answer in verses 4-7. I immediately experienced His amazing grace. The more I read, the more I became convinced that my Friend remains close by and desires to wash away my fears. He’s the kind of Friend that all people need; He can be trusted.
David knew to offer praises to His Lord before any other words proceeded from his mouth. Jesus teaches us the same format in The Lord’s Prayer. Together let’s adore our Heavenly Father and give Him glory using the first three verses in Psalm 34. Then let’s allow God to speak to our hearts, answering our prayers as only He knows how.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8

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