God, I sure wish you were here …
Scripture reference: Philippians 4:6-7
Today I’m going to tell you about a little girl. Josie was her middle name. Now Josie was a worrier. She worried about all kinds of things: if her shoes were on the right feet; if she was going to have a birthday party; if she could find her way home after school; she sometimes even worried if her big sister had divided up the cookies at the tea party so it would be fair!
BUT, Josie’s biggest worry was storms at bedtime.
If she was brushing her teeth and putting on her pj’s to get ready for bed, and the sky was cloudy and angry-looking, Josie would zip over to the window, toothbrush still in her mouth, to see what the sky was doing. And into her stomach came something that went flip-flop with every thunder-banger.
Josie would quick, quick, dive into her bed and say her prayers with one ear listening to the thunder and rain, and with her eyes squeezed tight. Then she’d pull up the bedsheets as far they would go, and she’d crawl into her bed as far as she could go! And with every flash of lightning flip-flop went her stomach! She couldn’t even think about her baby brother who might be anxious, too! Josie would say to herself: “I don’t want to be scared; I don’t want to be scared.”
One stormy summer night Josie brushed her teeth, dived into bed and said her prayers and curled up into an anxious little ball under the covers, while the lightning flashed and the thunder crashed. “I sure wish Mommy were here,” she whispered softly. “Mommy, I want you to be here.”
The thunder crashed. The rain poured down. Then Josie, deep under the covers, felt the bed creak as though ….. she pulled down the bedsheet and peeked into the darkness.
There was Mommy, not saying a word, just sitting quietly at the foot of her bed, keeping company, while lightning fingers poked at the sky.
But – how could Mommy have known? After all, she’d only whispered very softly, “Mommy, I want you to be here.” And Josie’s stomach stopped flip-flopping; and she wrapped her arms around her raggedy bear and went to sleep. And when she woke up the storm was over!
The little girl grew up, and became a woman; and there was a different kind of storm; she became very sick. And when she was so very sick and lying in her bed, anxious about her family and her life; God was there even though she hadn’t called for Him out loud.
And her kept her company during the sickness storm, so that she could go to sleep and wake up to a new day.
Paul, the great Apostle, l knew what he was talking about. Paul had plenty of experience with pain; he knew about the fear that makes us unable to put everything into the care of the Lord, unwilling to accept totally that God is the captain. Indeed, fear robs the joy and meaning of life.
So what then? …. how can we be released from care? Ah, yes, the everlasting promise of peace if we take all to the Lord in prayer. “It no longer storms in my heart, even though all the burdens aren’t all gone.”
In the storms of life: The Lord speaks; the storm at life; the storms of life, of deep anxiety.
As a mother stills her child…
Listen to Stand By Me by David Lennard