Last night it was late and I noticed the light still on in our sons' bedroom so I went to shut it off only to find that Caleb was still awake in his bed drawing pictures out of the Star Wars book that we checked out from the library. I told him it was late and that he needed to get to a stopping point then I told him that I love him. His response "I love you too Mom! I don't know what I would do without you." I told him that I am not going anywhere. Caleb had no idea what I was planning to blog about today, but his response was quite fitting.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child
she has borne?
Though she may forget
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms
of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
As I read these two verses I am reminded that I used to think that a mother could never forget her children and that a mother would absolutely have compassion. That is what I believed before I started working with substance abusers and before I became a mom. I now know that yes indeed some moms do forget their children and don't care for them. I have seen addiction take that away from a mom and it is a sad, sad thing. Some of my adolescent clients were not cared for as children like they should have been. That is when you really see the injustice of the matter. That is enough to make me angry. However, I need to remember not to judge as no one really knows what they would do had the circumstances of their lives been different. I think the saying, "But by the Grace of God go I" is fitting.
I am reminded of this when I think back a few years. I was no where near forgetting about my husband or my children, but I did feel like I was not good for them. They deserved so much better then me. I was still giving them everything, but it was not enough and I believed they would be better off without me. One morning I was in bed just sobbing about this and fought the urge to get in the car, drive away, and never return. Not because I wanted to, but because I believed my family would be better off. I didn't do it and I am glad that I did not hurt my family in that way. I no longer have this thought because a lot of healing has taken place in my life and the life of my family. However, when I think of moms who do forget their children I have no room to judge. Neither do you. Caleb has no idea how fitting what he said last night is when I think of that memory and the fact that I was about to blog about it is ironic.
Let's take a look at the verse above: "Can a mother forget her child?" Yes. It happens more than we care to think. Lets remember that all mothers are human and fallible. Also that every human being (including mothers) have a breaking point.
However, I love the next part of the verse: "Though she may forget, I will never forget you." Our mothers may all be human and fallible, but our Heavenly Father is not. He is perfect. His love is perfect, His thoughts are perfect, His Grace is perfect, His memory is perfect. He says that he will never forget you or me. Facebook has been a neat tool for me in that there are many people in my life who seemed so important to me at the time in my life and they were, but I forgot them until one day they pop up on in social media. How quickly we as humans forget. God never does. He remembers every single one of his creation and he never forgets us. I find that so comforting.
"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." Wow!! There is no way I could ever be out of God's mind. I am engraved on the palms of his hands. I can count on HIM! When I was attending Youth With A Mission's Discipleship Training School, our teacher the first week taught us that God loves us with Agape love. Basically that means that every minute of every day God is working in my best interest even when to me it feels the opposite. So when things are not working the way I think they should, I can go back to Isaiah 49:16 and remember that I am engraved in his hands and that my walls are ever before Him. I can trust Him. No other friend laid down his/her life for me.
In fact I can remember some times in my life when I needed friends the most, many of my friends seemed to have disappeared. I remember one particular time and there was a friend that stuck around when the rest left. He let me share what was going on and he helped me navigate through a tough situation. I think I would have given up if he had not been there. Another friend lives far away and she and I make sure we talk at least every month or so. I could go on and on with stories of some wonderful friendships that I have. So, I am not commenting on my friendships or putting down human friendships. What I am saying is that we need to make sure we don't look to our friends to do what only the Lord can do. The Lord is not the same as our human friends he is NEVER going to leave and will never steer me in the wrong direction if I will follow and trust Him.
I want to encourage you to have friends and to trust them, but to remember that they are not meant to take the place of the Lord who should really be our best friend. I think of the country song You Find Out Who Your Friends Are. When you find yourself in a rough spot in life you could discover this portion of the lyrics to be painfully true in your life: This ain't where the road comes to an end, This ain't where the bandwagon stops, This is just one of those times when a lot of folks jump off. If you are at a place in your life where it feels like your friends jumped off your bandwagon and you are alone, in trouble, and don't know what to do then reach out to the Lord. He is your best friend who will never leave you. Some lyrics to the song in another spot are: Somebody's gonna drop everything, Run out and crank up their car, Hit the gas, get there fast, Never stop and think "What's in it for me?" or "It's way to far." They just show on up with that big ole heart. The fact is that our friends here on this earth will not always "crank up their cars and hit the gas". However, Jesus saw that we were hopelessly lost in our sin. It was a real problem and we were lost for all eternity to hell because of our sins. While he did not "run out and crank up his car, hit the gas, and get there fast". However, what He did was come down to earth and take on human form, die an excruciating death on a cross, and raise three days later in order to solve the biggest problem you and I will ever face. Now that same friend is on the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me every single day, every single minute. Certainly Jesus did not stop and say "What's in it for me?" He did not say, "It's way to far". He showed up with His "big ole heart". We found out who our greatest friend is. He will never forget or leave you so no matter what you are going through you can trust HIM. I challenge you to trust the Lord with whatever you are struggling with today.