Why I had clicked on the article 5 minutes before going to bed is beyond me – there was even a warning in the description that there were “disturbing images” within the link I was about to click. Children being threatened and even children lying dead on the ground “in the name of”…. and it did not seem real. How could it be real? Those were things that were conceived for fiction books, weren’t they? I fell asleep shortly after catching my breath and slept rather soundly until my alarm interrupted me.
Then I sat on the couch this morning in the quiet with my Bible in one hand and coffee in the other. I opened my Bible to Psalm 78 and began to read and consider the words of the Psalmist:
1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
8 Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
refusing to give their hearts to God.
My study guide for the morning was explaining the need to teach the wisdom of God’s truths to our children so that “the next generation might know them… and they in turn will teach their own children.” Then as unexpectedly as it could happen, thoughts about the images I had viewed before going to sleep last night rushed over me. Tears filled my eyes, my heart quivered, and the reality of the situation haunted me. Without getting into the debate of an “age of accountability”, my heart and mind wandered to the mothers in the Middle East who are having to sacrifice their children for the name of Christ. Children are having to make the decision to embrace their faith unwaveringly or face the sword of martyrdom. All of this is happening as I fall asleep in the comfort of my own home faced merely with the decision to wake with my alarm in the morning.
The weight of the Psalm is heavy on my heart and shoulders this morning. The burden is there to teach the Truth of the grace and mercy and love of God to my child and future children – even in the potential face of death. I have a tendency to try and withhold my child to myself and to believe that I know what I am doing and that I can protect her from the world. I am not saying that I do not trust God to care for and provide for us. What I am saying is that it is my human tendency to sit back momentarily before I “give God a break” and take possession of the reigns again. The truth is, I know my feeble attempts at being everything she needs is worthless. My prayer is that I would be so bold as to entrust God with my family every moment of every day. My prayer is that I would boldly speak the Truth of the Lord into my child’s heart everyday in word and action. My prayer is that she will “set her hope anew on God” so that she will not be like her “ancestors — stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful”… ME.
It is a wonderful thing, the grace of God. He renews the opportunity each moment of the day in order to provide another opportunity for teaching God’s truths for the future generations.