Each morning, my children and I begin our homeschooling day with Bible Time. Just 15 minutes of Scripture, a page of the Bible storybook, quick observations, and prayer. Nothing more, just gentle meditations. Curled up in recliners or rockers, or pressed up against one another on the sofa. Everyone buried under a blanket and The Book, the scented candle drawing their hearts upward.
This year has been our twins’ first exposure to God’s Word. They are eating it up, demanding a second Bible storybook after finishing their first. They are disgusted when the Sunday School lesson is a story they already know. “Isn’t there something new?” they complain.
So they move forward a page at a time in their Bible storybook, listening to the passage read in the Scriptures by older siblings then reading the children’s version in their picture book. The youngest two eagerly remind their siblings of “what just happened” and the parts they remember from the last book. The little scholars forget no detail of any tale, and no one can keep up with their enthusiasm.
What does this tell us about God? What does it tell us about us? What should we do now? Three simple questions to chew over as a group, to engage our hearts and minds and draw our attention, our souls deeper.
Lately, our daily reading has been in Psalms. Coming to the 23rd gave them delight, as our pastor just finished a series on that psalm. They were glad to hear more about their Shepherd. The dawning sun shone through the slats of the wooden blinds:
Even though I walk through the darkest of valleys, I will fear nothing, for you are with me; your rod and your shepherd’s crook make me feel safe.
The oldest sister Adana said this verse is her favorite in the passage. It reminds her that God is with her in the hard times.
“Is a dark valley a scary thing we go through?” Juliana pressed her soft body against my side.
“Yes, it’s anything difficult we go through.”
“Like being taken away from my parents. That is a dark valley.” Her wide eyes looked steadily into mine. My heart gasped, and my mouth went dry.
Roman squirmed around her, and I bit my tongue not to remind him don’t put your feet on the sofa. “But Jesus is with us, right Mommy?”
His twin interrupted with authority. “Jesus was with us, and He brought us to a safe place. He brought us to a new family that can take care of us and loves us.”
The kitchen clock ticked the time away, time that had passed so hard the past months for the young girl. Juliana, the one who lay on her floor in deep depression for hours every day for many months. Juliana, who insisted to every caseworker, attorney, advocate, and therapist involved in her care that she must be taken back to her mother, refusing for the longest time to believe she never would. Juliana, who told her therapist she had no comprehension of forever mom but knew her real mom loved her and missed her and needed her now.
Juliana knew what we all must know: the dark valleys come. We are very afraid and even fight our way through kicking and screaming. We may despair of ever getting out of the darkness.
But Jesus is with us the entire way. And He leads us to the other side until He makes us feel safe.
The next day, the sun shone again on the brown, leather sofa.
Trust in God and do good. Love him, and you will have everything you need. Follow his ways, and your reward will shine like the brightest sun. Be calm and patient, and your day will come.
God looks after those who love him. Even though they may stumble, he keeps them from falling. He holds them up with his hand. God never lets them down.
God will always take care of his people. He will look after them when times are bad. He will rescue them from wicked people because they turn to him for help.
Juliana pointed to the picture. Jesus held the young boy’s hand as they walked through a darkened forest toward a bright light.
“See? He takes care of us in a dark valley and leads us to better things. I’ve been through a dark valley, and Jesus takes care of me.”
We will fear nothing.
This post contains affiliate links to defray site costs. Thank you for your support.