Longing for Home – Psalm 84

One of our foster daughters was Little Miss Sunshine. She bounced on her toes all day long with the joy of living, her curls dancing over her shoulders. But quieting down in her room at night, we’d hear her crying. I attempted to comfort and pray with her, but I couldn’t give her what she yearned for most. She moaned, “I want my mom.”

It didn’t seem to matter what they’d suffered there, or how much they enjoyed living with my family, my foster children expected some day they’d be home again and all would be well. And though our L.M.S. was a part of our family for most of her childhood, she didn’t outgrew the deep longing in her heart for home.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you” (Psalm 84: 1-4 NIV).

Sleeping campers. JoshDavis 6-2015

The boys sleeping in their tent

Something’s Missing

I’ve noticed I continue to search for home. It seems I’m always interested in improving the one I have or moving to a different one. Or like others my age, we wish for our grown children to be nearby.

It’s more than just the grass being greener on the other side. I think it’s innate, that there’s something in us that recognizes things are not as they should be; we’re not home yet.

Last weekend Jerry and I went camping with my son’s family. My three young grandsons threw hundreds of rocks into the river and wet pairs of shoes multiplied by the tent door. We ate our camp food around the fire and explored waterfalls and lava beds. At the end of the day the boys collapsed, falling asleep in a heap.

God’s Open Door

Like my grandsons, I relish having adventures with the people I love. It’s great to come to the end of my day satisfied in my relationships and ready for rest. Is that what it will be like when I come to the end of my life? I think so.

The scripture says, “my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” If he has a place in his house for a swallow to build her nest, I know there’s room for me. And my response to his open door is extreme gratitude. “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.”

Prayer

Thank you so much, Lord, for the promise of being with you forever. My song of joy and praise will be unending!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Let Children Come to Jesus – Matthew 19:13-14

My mother says I came home and reported to her that I’d asked Jesus in my heart at an after-school program. With great reverence I said,

“I felt Jesus all over me.”

I love how children explain things that they haven’t tried to express before. In my child-like understanding I knew my life had changed.

A little can help a lot

used with permission. zumbari stockxchng

photo from zumbari .stockxchng

When my husband agreed to train with me to become foster parents, my commitment was to help children experience a home that might affect their lives forever.

I’ve known adults who were impacted by spending one week at summer camp. Certainly I could do the same for a child, though caring for children short-term was a different parenting paradigm than I was accustomed to. But if we would only foster one child, I knew helping the one would be worth it.

Do not hinder them from coming to Jesus

“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven'” (Matthew 19:13-14 ESV).

I think I wouldn’t know Jesus like I do if there hadn’t been children in my life. I’ve learned so much from their trust, vulnerability, joy, openness, transparency, dependence, and need to bond. It seems clear that’s what Jesus meant when he said the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these.

Prayer

Lord, I think that if you hadn’t made a point of welcoming children that day, I might not have benefited from the caring adult who invited me to your side. Thank you so much for people like her, and for making us all a part of your kingdom.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis