I cry tears of frustration as I curl up in one corner of my kitchen. It is the farthest room from the others that are sleeping, and I don't want to disturb them. My son is very sick, struggling to breathe, panicking when he can't catch a breath. I have tucked him in bed with Tylenol to bring down the fever. In the back of my mind, fear rages. What if it's the flu? In the forefront of my mind, two thoughts struggle for prominence. Number one: He needs me and, short of a miracle that isn't forthcoming, won't be able to attend church in the morning. Number two: Our pastor is away, and I am scheduled to play the piano, sing a duet with my husband, and teach a Sunday School class in the morning service. My thoughts run to "Why are you doing this, God?" No, I'm not accusing Him. I realize He knows best. But, I'm not seeing it at all. When the tears subside, my husband assures me he will take care of details, and I finally decide to trust instead of worry, I sleep.
Later that morning:
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Everyone has gone to church and it is just me and my boys in the house. Sunday mornings at home depress me. How can I get through a week without worshiping on the Lord's Day? When I pick up my Bible to get something from the Lord, I cannot see the words because my older son's burning little body is cuddling close to my cheek, and my baby in my other arm is determined to grasp its pages. "I needed You today, Lord! And here I am, alone and unable to worship You!", my heart complains to Him. Then, he whispers, "But you are not alone. We are here." My eyes travel to my own piano and the hymn book that rests on it. I look down at my little ones, desiring to be close to me. My desire to be close to Him doesn't abate. "Come on boys. Let's have church!" We sit at the piano, the baby hanging on to the side of the bench. "What do you want to sing?" I ask the oldest boy. "Jesus Loves Me," he rasps. I play, slowly because he is fighting to breathe, and we sing in broken syllables:
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
Later in the week:
The children have been up for less than an hour, and my nerves are frayed already. One particular child has had a horrible, hateful attitude towards another, and I am struggling with my own attitude. "I need time with you, Lord! I can't be patient any longer!", I cry to Him. Again, He whispers, "You are not alone. We are here." Pushing aside my frustration, I try to speak gentle reproof to the offending child. It is not long before we are all on our knees, offending child kneeling before our stuffed recliner chair, offended child perched on its arm, baby hanging on to the side and me...somewhere in between. "I'm sorry...erase the black out of my heart and come in and make it clean...help me to love..." The words of a child bring tears to my eyes and I thank the Lord once again for the promise that rings true:
"Where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."
And He is.