February 6, 2023
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My children were picking up their children from school, and that day they were holding them very close. Because some parents of little schoolchildren in Connecticut would not be able to pick up their children from school or hold them close. Not that day - never again.
I felt what millions were feeling the day of those shootings some years ago in Newtown, Connecticut. All of us that had a child we loved or we couldn't imagine losing; we had a deep heaviness in our spirit. And it was the Christmas season if you remember, and it suddenly obscured the "sunshine" of the Christmas season.
I watched our President, with tears in his eyes, simply saying, "Our hearts are broken." It wasn't so much a President talking at that point; it was a parent who sent his daughters off to school every morning.
As I tried to sort out my own racing thoughts and feelings with that unfolding news, my heart landed on the only bedrock I knew - God's unchanging Word - the Bible.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hope on a Very Dark Day."
Yeah, I found myself quoting again a verse that has sustained me and over the years sustained my wife through decades of parenting and then grand parenting. It didn't answer all of our questions that tragic day, but it provided some solid ground for a parent to plant their feet on. It's our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 40:11. "God tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."
You know, it's great to put the name of your child (or your "lamb") that you love in that verse, "He gathers (put their name in there) in His arms and carries him/her close to His heart." You can't be with them everywhere they go. He can; carrying them close to His heart. As a parent, you need to know that today. As a child, your son or daughter needs to know it, too.
And then don't forget your part of God's promise: "He will gently lead (put your name in there) who has young." He's promising to guide you in every situation, every decision, and every conversation with that child that He's entrusted to your care.
On a day when I was suddenly faced with the possibility that I might never see the love of my life again alive, when she was CODE BLUE some years ago, another word from God took over my mind. "I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard (I put my wife's name in there) who I have entrusted to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12). And He did guard her that day. He would have guarded her even if she'd gone from that hospital to heaven that day. And I know He would have guarded me, too, because He did on the day that was her last day this side of eternity.
See, that's another promise you can hang on to on a dark and tragic day. It's because of these Biblical anchors that a Mom or Dad can say, even when your parent's heart is unsettled, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). Whatever the news of the day, God knows a parent will make wrong choices out of fear and right choices out of faith.
On days when the tragic news comes, I'm so grateful that Jesus is real, that Jesus is close, and that Jesus is a deeply personal Savior. He offers to do life with us, and then to bring into our lives and into the lives of our children the love that made Him die for us. And the power that brought Him out of His grave. He's promised, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Or the children we hold dear.
Listen, if you've never begun a personal relationship with this Savior who loved you enough to die for you, who has the power to change the kind of Mom or Dad you are, would you go to our website and find out how to begin that? Right there you'll get that information. It's ANewStory.com. Please visit there.
You know, the children sing a song in Sunday School, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world" and they're right.