As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am often fearful for my children – fears, worries, and anxieties that keep me up at night (or wake me up early in the morning…hello, 4am, my old friend!). As a glass-half-empty person, I imagine the worst. As we prepare to move to Japan, fears (little and big) plague me.
When I expressed my concern regarding the well-being of my kids in a foreign country and culture, a missionary once told me, “As long as mom and dad are with them, your kids will be fine.” On other words: “Yes, there may be challenges. Yes, there may be hardships. Yes, there may be situations that are tough…but your kids are OK as long as they have the security of being with mom and dad.”
At that time, I responded by nodding in agreement. But recently I was reminded of this conversation while talking with Aliya. We had seen a dead mouse and were talking about death. Seizing an opportunity to talk about God and heaven, I was eagerly pontificating on the wonder of heaven in a passionate soliloquy. I concluded with, “In heaven, you will finally be able to see what God looks like…you will live forever with God!”
She was silent for a while and then said, “I don’t want to go to heaven.”
“Why?”, I asked, trying my best to not sound alarmed.
She replied slowly, “…because I want to live with YOU!”
Ok, I admit that she missed the whole point of heaven (more so, my lack in explaining eternal life to her was revealed!)…but her response showed me that in her 5-year old mind, what is most important to her is being with mom and dad.
My kids will be fine, in a myriad of circumstances, because mom and dad will be with them. This brings me comfort as we prepare to move at the end of January.
The Lord always teaches me through my kids, and through this conversation, he reminded me that the security our children feel is a reflection of the greater security we have in our relationship with our good heavenly Father. We will be fine, in a myriad of circumstances, because God is with us. Christ is our Immanuel, “God with us” (Mt.1:23). The Lord is near (Ps.34:18, 145:18; Ph.4:5) and is our refuge (Ps.73:28).
You may not be preparing to move to a new country, but what are the fears that surround you? Do you feel overwhelmed and stressed about the daily pressures of life, work, parenting, strained finances, frayed relationships, or major decisions ahead? What keeps you up at night, the thoughts that inhabit your mind as you lay in bed as sleep scurries away from you?
Take heart! The Lord is near. Christ has promised, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt.28:20b). Cling and surrender to him; trust him as he is steadfast and unchanging. I hope this truth will give you peace and comfort in whatever situation you find yourself.
Thanks for reading,
Fundraising update: We are at 88% of our fundraising goals – we are grateful for our supporters! If you are not one of our supporters, please consider partnering with us! We are planning to leave for Japan at the end of January 2015.