I think some, if not most of you have heard part of my story regarding my ‘growing up’ years. For those of you that haven’t, I’ll do a short re-cap.
When I was four years old, my dad, who had previously been a farmer in Kansas, was called to preach. We moved to Springfield, Missouri so that he could attend Baptist Bible College there. Keep in mind, he had only attended school until the 6th grade, for he had to help out on the farm; so starting college at the age of thirty-four, with very limited education was difficult to say the least!
We were extremely poor-almost to the point of starving to death a few times. And, we most assuredly would have, had it not been for the folks at High Street Baptist Church! They brought food over all the time. There was no government food program back then…only the generosity of good-hearted folks. One of those folks was a lady everyone called, ‘Mom Whitson’. She took care of every stray, be it human or otherwise, that she saw! She is the person who gave my mom and dad their Promise Box that I still use to this day…some 62 years later.
God has blessed me with a wonderful husband who works hard to provide for his family! So, my days of hungering for food are over. These days, my soul hungers for relationship, fellowship, and forgiveness.
Like all young parents, I made many bad choices. They were done with the best of intentions, but I was new at being a mom, and some of the choices and decisions I made turned out to be the worst things I could have possibly done! Yes! I was stubborn too, and would not listen to wise counsel and advice given to me. I knew it all! I was an adult and could make my own decisions. WRONG! I see that now…you know what they say about ‘hind site!’
Anyway, today, I am reaping some of the consequences that go along with wrong decision-making. Believe me…these consequences are hard to swallow! So, this morning, I asked God to give me a promise that I could hang onto. Here is what He gave me….
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!” -Romans 5:20
There was a little poem that went along with it. It said…
“In busy mart, and crowded street,
No less than in the still retreat,
Thou Lord, art near, our souls to bless”
That verse means to me, that when I was the worst of sinners…God still chose to show me grace. If He chose to show ME grace…and mercy…and longsuffering…then I should do the same for others!
I was ready to give up on my relationship, fellowship, forgiveness seeking quest with those still angry and hurt with me; but in that promise, I realize I should never give up hope that those things will come…some day!
By the way, this particular promise had a hand written note on it from ‘Mom Whitson’. It was to my dad who understandably was struggling with his college studies. It simply said this: “Maurice- I drew this for you with a prayer. How I want His presence to ever be near me!” -Mom W.
These promises from God Almighty Himself, got my dad through four years of college! Yes…it was hard. Yes…there were tears. But he made it. With God’s help.
I think I’ve found something to hold on to. I’m sure I’m gonna make it…. With God’s help!