Look at these two little stinkers. They look like they’re up to something here don’t they?
We enjoyed a beautiful fall day on Sunday. After church, we went apple picking and pumpkin grabbing.
The kids wanted to go in the hay maze at the pumpkin farm. Papa got them started but they ALL decided it was too big and too dark.
As he walked to the car to get a flashlight, a woman consoled him in that her seventeen year old son was too afraid to enter the darkness as well.
It seemed unreasonable to me. I giggled at the thought of a seventeen year old boy and a fifty-three year old man too afraid to lead a four and seven year old through the maze. I didn’t laugh long though. Before I knew it Papa was back from the car with the flashlight and the kids had gone through the maze at least once with light to guide the way. This time, Noah was in front and Ruthie was in the middle. Somehow I was in back heading into the darkness. Papa stood off at a distance smirking. How did we switch places?
There I was, on my knees in the dark. The cold damp ground was soaking into my jeans. For a moment I thought about backing out but my quest to be a fun mom stopped me.
Now I understood the hesitancy. There were some holes poked through the hay for light to come through but not enough to see where to go. There were dead ends and twists and turns. The hay stacks got closer together.
It was enough to make this woman almost…ALMOST tear the plywood right off of the top of the maze. I didn’t. Even when the hay stack maze became way too snug.
My boy with the flashlight?
I’m sure I’d be there today if it weren’t for my sweet girl.
She grabbed my hand and said, “Come on mama, take my hand. I’ll get you through here. I’ve been here before. I know the way out.”
She did know the way out and she comforted me with her presence and knowledge.
I was so pleased and thankful when I looked up and saw her little frame standing in the exit…light all around her.
It was in that maze scrunching along in the dark holding Ruthie’s hand hoping for a way out quickly that I thought about what the Lord had been impressing upon me this past week.
Just a couple of hours earlier in church my pastor said something simple but profound for me. He called us to trust the Lord in life’s challenges and dark times. He said to trust that He will deliver us from each thing until He ultimately delivers us through death.
Deliverance through death. A fresh perspective. If one of those dark times we must wind our way through is ultimately death, that is deliverance as well.
So I think of Jesus and how He is at hand now. He has gone that way before and He knows how to deliver us.
“Take my hand. I’ll get you through here. I’ve been here before. I know the way out.”
There has always been this one section of verses in chapter four of the book of Philippians I’ve held onto. It keeps me turning back to gospel sanity and biblical thinking.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious 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. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The verse happened to be in my bible reading for this week so I had the blessings of meditating on it once again.
I’ve always read this and memorized this as “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone, the Lord is at hand.
I thought of it like this: since the Lord is at hand, my reasonableness should be known by everyone. I want to act the way I would if He was right here at my side to be a witness for him to others.
But today I see that the period is at the end of “everyone” and the new sentence begins at “The Lord is at hand.” Then the sentence goes on.
I believe that instead, it is saying that SINCE the Lord is at hand, do not be anxious but instead pray and give thanks. Let your requests be made known to this God who is readily at hand!
Do you find yourself in the dark today in some area of your life?
I hope you also find yourself, then, on your knees.
The Lord is at hand so anxious thoughts and actions are not needed. Prayer and thanks and letting our requests be made known will bring peace and reasonableness.
When I don’t give thanks, talk to Him about my life and make requests be made known to Him, I don’t have peace. I don’t rejoice and I am not reasonable. I am filled with anxious thoughts and anxious actions are the result.
Let’s run to Him now with prayers, songs, praises and requests. Not just now but all day long.
Lord lead us in this dark maze of life. Shine your light into the dark corners I sometimes find myself in. We want to consistently trust and be aware that you are at hand. May the knowledge of you being at hand…as close and real as Ruthie was to me in the maze…bring us peace.