Matthew 19:14 – But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." (ESV)
Sadly, I have lost both mum and dad in recent months, and all now I have to speak into their absence are the memories and pictures taken.
I remember a time when we were caravanning. We were sited on the bottom edge of a field far enough up the slope from some gorse bushes to be able to see the sea. I was sitting in the driver's seat of the car with the window open, turning the steering wheel and winding the window up and down. Dad had been given the job of keeping an eye on me, as he was touching up the odd chip on the car paintwork.
Having mastered the art of steering, my attention then turned to the shiny button on the handbrake lever next to me, and being an inquisitive sort of a child copying my father, I pressed the button and allowed the handbrake lever to go down.
I think time stood still for dad in that moment, as the chip he was carefully painting started to move down the slope on its own. Then, momentarily frozen to the spot, his demeanour changed from annoyance to abject horror as the car gently rolled off down the field towards the bushes with increasing speed.
Stung into action, dad dived for the open window and reached over me to clasp and pull up the handbrake. Thus, the car came to a slow stop several feet further down the field. This was followed by a certain amount of pandemonium and consternation by dad, and then later, by mum towards dad! Of course, as a very small boy, I had no ability to see the cliff just the other side of the hedge. I wondered what all the fuss was about!
Oftentimes, we are totally unaware of the danger we put ourselves in, just because we had the opportunity to do something daft, be it physically, mentally, or spiritually.
Most often, it is only after the event that we become aware as Christians that God has been watching over us for our good. God loves us. So in those moments, hours, days, or weeks when our life has started rolling towards the precipice, but God has not yet reached in to pull the handbrake, let us still trust in His providential care that protects us from everything outside His will.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for those fond memories of loving parents who wanted the best for us and who did their best to bring us up right as they saw it. We rejoice in Your perfect parenthood over us, and them, to want the same. Bring us all home safe at last into Your kingdom. We pray for all those loved ones who are not yet in the kingdom, that You would save them from themselves. Grant us the right words and actions to bring them into Your embrace, in Jesus' name. Amen.
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