for encouragement …

       For my second birthday, I received a lovely little book called God Is with Me.   It features simple watercolors of children, accompanied by simple, yet large, truths about God.   Though many books given to two-year-olds are grown out of, this book has grown up with me.  Rereading it takes me back to the very secure feeling of being two years old: back to lamplight, and my footie pajamas, a sippy cup of chocolate milk around which I looked at the pictures, and my mother’s warm side and her voice reading the book to me.  And this I know: however unsteady things may feel, I am as secure, and even more secure, than that child knew herself to be; I am kept in the care of the Almighty, Who is with me.  
       I can’t reproduce the pictures here, but I thought I’d share the words; they have helped me, again and again.
   They look so bland, and almost harsh, typed out onto the page.  Try to take the statements one at a time, as they come in the book.  Try to put yourself into situations where these are specifically applicable, as the illustrations so aptly do: the little girl alone in the woods, reflecting that God is with her; the sad child sitting on a fence and thinking; the boy and girl refreshed by watermelon slices; the boy, among whose many cares is the haircut he is about to receive … I love the way the book brings the truths down to a child’s level and reminds us that the Lord is just as close to the boy brokenhearted over a lost baseball game as He is to the woman who has lost her husband; His love is sufficient for small needs as well as great.  His name is Immanuel — God with us.  Without more explanation, then, my book:

GOD IS ALWAYS WITH ME.  HE WATCHES OVER ALL HE MADE.

“Give thanks to the Lord … who gives food to every creature.” Psalm 136:1, 25

“The Lord is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works.”  Psalm 145:9

GOD IS WITH ME WHEN I’M SAD.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart.” Psalm 73:26

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

GOD SHOWS HIS LOVE TO ME THROUGH FRIENDS.

“He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”  Proverbs 11:25

“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”  Proverbs 15:30

GOD IS WITH ME IN NEW PLACES.

“When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul.”  Psalm 94:19

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  He is my helper.”  Psalm 118:6a, 7b

GOD IS WITH ME NOW …
AND HE ALWAYS WILL BE.

3 thoughts on “for encouragement …

  1. Lain Hodges says:

    Isn’t it interesting that we need to return to the same basic truths over and over again? Two or 102 – this never seems to change, and I believe a good argument could be made from Scripture that we SHOULD return to them. If you haven’t read Psalm 121 lately, it’s a great one for times of uncertainty and insecurity.

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