Update: December 2016: Thank you, Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference, for awarding me 2nd place for this entry in the Leona Hertel Devotional Writing Contest!!
I’ve had to correct myself recently when reassuring my children. Here’s why:
My son doesn’t typically fall and scrape his knee anymore but my daughter just did for the first time.
Beautiful sunny day at the park, my precious 17-month old girl in a light blue, flowery dress with a matching diaper cover. The pretty stable toddler gets going too fast in her clunky pink sandals. She sees the slide but her eyes are faster than her feet, of course. Down she goes, as I stretch out my arms, knowing I’m no Inspector Gadget – they won’t stretch out to catch her. Tears: real drops, stream down her cheeks as protective brother comes running from the other direction. Ok, there’s blood. Time to leave. Let’s go home, get a band-aid and patch up this girl. While I clutch this girl’s head to my shoulder, I say instinctively, “You’re ok! You Are Ok!” … Except she’s not – in her little mind. Her world came crashing down when she did. In the midst of witnessing her not be ok, even though I knew she would be, I said more comfortingly, “You will be ok. You will be ok.”
I’m careful now about these words. Sometimes we are are not ok. We are hurt, abandoned, sick, sad, tired, or all of the above. But as Christians, we will be ok. We will be ok. Not right now, maybe; maybe not tomorrow. Maybe longer. But while you might not be ok at this moment and I acknowledge that, you will be ok.
I’m thinking of several friends that are hurting …. Loss, sickness, unimaginable heartbreak. Are you hurting today? Do you know someone that is? To those hurting, they are not ok right now. It’s hard to imagine, for them, when they will be ok. Reassure them with your prayers of comfort and peace, that they feel loved and know they will be ok. In the meantime, when they don’t know if & when they will be ok, use your gifts to show them love and give them hope. What are you good at? How can you use that gift to help someone going through a hard time? When you reach out to the hurting, it can help them see that with God’s love and friends’ support, they will be ok.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
Shortly after her cement scuffle, she is ok. Weeks later, she still points to her left knee and says “Itch.” (My teaching her to say “boo-boo” or “ouch” resulted in “itch” and I really kinda love it.) I silently wonder how much longer she will say “itch” or if she even remembers the actual fall or the pain. Because what I want her to remember most is that she was going to be ok. I say to her, Baby girl, I will always help you up and tell you you will be ok….because you will be.
Next week: You’re a gem!