Last weekend, our daughter, son-in-law, and both grandchildren visited our lake house for the first time. You can imagine how much preparation grandparents do anticipating the patter of little feet. Our goal is smiling faces and happy hearts.
In buying this home of course we thought about respite—a place by still waters and green meadows filled with tall beautiful trees and places of shade and sun. These are the simple accoutrements of nature necessary to bring peace and opportunity to draw close to God. Obviously, this can be done in the city too and is! But there’s nothing like the sweet kiss of country or mountain living.
And yes the family enjoyed great meals and conversations around the table—lots of naps and laziness. My granddaughter, Vivie, saw a deer for the first time and pointed. She is only 15 months but has a pretty good attention span for her age.
I’m so glad that I grabbed her and sat on the porch with her in my lap on Sunday morning. I know she’s been to parks in the city before but never out like this in nature.
I loved her reaction. She just sat and watched with wonder. Even at 15 months! And she remained quiet and attentive for some moments before she hopped down to explore. I already recognized, through her young eyes, that thing that adults lose so quickly—wonder and awe. And I know as she grows, this attribute will increase. It will be fun to experience life all over again through her vision and heart.
Later, I carried Vivie in my arms and showed her the old oak by our house that has been putting down roots for years before we came. It towers beside our home and has spread its branches far and wide. How many storms has this tree weathered? Truly it stands as a symbol of courage to us. I told Vivie about the swing we want to place on one strong limb. What a memory that will create! Of course she doesn’t understand, but I am planting seeds, planting seeds just as God does with us.
How joyful is a full house! On Monday morning, I felt the emptiness after they had gone. I longed for a few moments for them to come back, so we could do the weekend again! I even texted them jokingly and said “come back!”
But this morning I read Psalms 46, and my eyes fell upon these scriptures.
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.”
This passage specifically speaks of the holy city of Jerusalem. It was under siege when David wrote these words. Despite the onslaught, David declared that God was in the midst of that city. It would stand strong and not be moved, although everything around it may be in upheaval.
I have claimed these scriptures for myself and personal problems when I have felt the chaos of life and disappointment. These words have grown dearer through the pandemic and shifting sands of politics and cultural norms. And I can’t tell you how a grandmother feels concerning the state of the world that our grandchildren will inherit. There is some consternation and some fear. Upon reflection and meditation on the goodness of the Lord though, I realized that I had lived through great upheaval as well during the 60s. I believe it is definitely worse now and sin darker, but I know grace does more abound.
I praying that my grandchildren will cherish and apply God’s promises as I have, and as Wayne and I have taught our daughter. I know she will find an anchor for the tumultuous seasons of life and the affairs of the world, just as we did. I know they will learn to navigate the highs and the lows by leaning into life that is abundant today and promised for eternity. And this is my forever prayer that the lives of my children and grandchildren would be bound together with God‘s faithfulness, goodness, and love. May they stand as oak trees firmly planted by rivers of living water, knowing that God is in the midst and they shall not be moved but anchored to a God who fails not.