“Those who know your name, trust you, God, because you have never
deserted those who seek your help.” (Psalm 9:10)
Something seemed a bit off with our new neighbor while we chatted that early spring evening, keeping a close watch as our kids rode their bikes up and down our neighborhood street. Glancing away for several seconds, listening, as my neighbor shared about her troubled life. Then, looking back in the direction of the kids, we no longer saw them. “Maybe they rode down to the other end of the street?” we wondered.
My husband, Steve, and I half-walked, half-ran down our street while calling out our son’s name. “Stay calm. Don’t panic. They’re fine,” I told myself, even though fear had its’ grip around my rapid-beating heart. Suddenly, we stopped. Sitting on the sidewalk, my son’s and his friend’s bikes, abandoned. The kids, no where in sight. My heart sank. It was a parents’ worst nightmare. My son was missing! Did they wander off with some other neighborhood kids? Or were they taken by some unsavory individual intent on harming them?
“Stay calm. Don’t panic. They’re fine.”
A panic and a dread like I’ve never known before hit me as though I had been sucker punched. We began searching, calling out my son’s name, as other neighbors joined us. With each step, each shout, fear’s grasp increased – the fear that my son was taken and harmed, a real possibility. Tears streaming, the only words I could muster, “Help. Please God, help.”
“Help. Please God, help.”
Continuing our search, the song “Home” by Philip Phillips played in my head. “This is an odd time for a song,” I thought. Some of the words caught my attention: “Settle down, it’ll all be clear. Don’t pay no mind to the demons, they fill you with fear. The trouble – it might drag you down. If you get lost, you can always be found. Just know you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna make this place your home.”
A deep peace flowed through my body, from head to toe, replacing my fear with God’s assurance – He has His eye on my son, he’s safe, and we’ll find him (Philippians 4:7, “The peace of God reassures our hearts,” my paraphrase).
An agonizing two-hours later, with the help of some kind police officers, the kids were found – scared, but safe. I’d never been so happy! Tears of relief and a grateful heart, my son and I hugged tight, so tight I didn’t want to ever let him go, that is, until – “Mom, you’re squeezing me!”
God is so very personal. Just as He knows us, He wants us to know Him, and not just on a head-knowledge level, but on a heart-level. Our image of God transforms as we get to know Him and experience Him in our everyday lives through His peace, love, compassion, and grace, building a closeness, an intimacy between us and God.
My son and his friend were physically lost, then found. What are you missing in your life? What are you searching for? Whatever it is, whatever you need, God wants to help you. He knows, He cares, and He loves you so very much. ~