Since moving to Stewartville, Eric and I have had the joy of making two daytrips to visit our son Leif and his family in Kenosha. On the first trip, early in the summer, we were able to hold our newest grandchild, Clea, while watching her big sister Kysi play on the apartment facility’s playground. By the time of our second visit, little Clea had matured enough to focus on our faces as we cuddled, while big sis Kysi enthusiastically showed us her favorite books and stuffed toys.
How glorious it is to be a grandparent! One of the most delightful aspects of being a grandparent is in remembering what it was like to be a child while watching your grandchildren explore God’s wonderful creation. As Clea gazed up at my face as I cradled her in my arms I remembered sitting on Grandpa Paul’s lap as a little girl, staring at his jet-black eyes and enormous ears (yep-I inherited his ears!). And as I watched with amusement as Kysi discovered how to walk backwards (thank goodness she didn’t have far to fall!), I remembered as a young girl how to skip down the sidewalk. Ah, to live the wonderful, carefree life of a child!
For the month of October my sermons are focusing on the feelings of fear and scarcity humans experience—especially during these times of pandemic, racial strife, economic woes, and worsening climate change. I remember as a child being afraid and finding comfort in the arms of a loving adult. I remember as a child feeling the ‘scarcity’ of hunger or fatigue or loneliness and knowing that mommy or daddy would fill my tummy with food, read a story as I fell asleep in my warm bed, and hold me tenderly when I felt lonely. As an adult though, it is up to me to find succor when I am afraid or am feeling 'scarcity' in my life. As a person of faith, the easiest thing for me to do is to talk to God.
From his prison cell Paul wrote of this very gift of God’s grace to the congregation in Philippi:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7)
What a moving statement of faith and assurance; in bringing your prayers to God, the mystery of God’s peace in Christ will enfold you. Like the comfort and care given by a loving adult to a child, such peace through prayer will not necessarily defeat the source of fear and scarcity, but will offer instead the comfort and strength for you to move through the experience of fear and scarcity toward healing and wholeness.
May the peace of God in Christ enfold you this week and always!