Wherever they go, He’s got it covered

Categorized as 07/25/11 Goshen News column

They’d participated in numerous church services, sharing their testimonies and encouraging the native people.  He’d reveled in their lively worship style, this kid with the elastic hips and the bouncy legs.  They’d prayed for the sick, conducted vacation Bible schools, and had gone on prayer walks.  They’d shared cramped quarters, had gone without air conditioning, had endured cold showers, and they’d lived to tell about it.  They had learned, those lively American kids, just a bit about suffering and doing without for the sake of others.  I’d prayed for their health; for unity; for open doors; for divine appointments.  Mother had prayed for the hearts down there, for the hearts up here, that Father God would do big things in that other land, and that our light-skinned children would return, never again to be the same. “Did you get sick?” I asked him (mamas worry about stuff like that).  “I only had a little bit of diarrhea,” he said blithely.  “The water was clean.  It just had some amoebas in it.”  We groaned, then chuckled, his father and I.  Amoebas?  Clean water?  Not exactly, but he was fine, and we were thankful. He’d nearly vibrated, then, excitement coloring his voice as he told of climbing a rock face, scaling it like a primate, searching for one handhold, one foothold at a time, only to jump from the cliff into a pool below upon reaching the top.  I’m sure I paled. “The first one was about 20 feet high,” he said, exulting in the rush.  “And the second one was 25 to 30 feet.  Oh, and some of the guys, they’d take a running start at it so they’d be sure to clear the rocks…”  I paled again.  “…And hit the pool down there.” “It was way better than any roller coaster!” he said, exclamation marks all over his face.  “It’s so high, you have a little bit of hang time.  A lot of stuff goes through your mind, and you’re thinking, ‘Why did I jump?’” A lot of stuff went through my mind, I can tell you, and I thought, “Thank You, Lord, for Your loving care and protection over my adrenaline junky.”  And thank You that I didn’t know what all he was up to. Which is a mercy, isn’t it?  Mothers don’t know everything, and maybe we don’t need to.  If we did, we’d never let them leave. We’d pack them up in bubble wrap and confine them to the couch, knitting sweaters.  We’d hold them close – too close, and in the grasping, we’d smother, stunt, stifle our children.  We’d rob them, these precious ones, of the chance to grow, to spread their wings, and to learn for themselves that God is able and that He is enough.  And that’s why mamas pray.  That’s how mamas rest.  We know the Heavenly Father always watches, never sleeps, and that He’s got it covered.  Even in a faraway land. 

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