I watched her enter the room with a frightened look on her face. So pale and small, she trembled at her strange surroundings, looking like she wanted to run and hide like a scared animal. Yet, she stood firm and did not run, as if she was holding onto in inner Strength that none of knew of, but would discover over time.
I thought back to the day I had arrived in the same house ten years before, and I had been scared too. I did not know how the master and his wife would treat me, but my circumstances had been different. I was from the same country as they were, but my parents were poor and needed money so they had sent me to the market to be sold as a servant. I had been determined to run away the first moment I had a chance, but it did not take me long to learn that my new master and his wife were extremely generous and gentle. They never mistreated their servants and I learned to love them as the years went on.
I can imagine her feeling confused as she sat with her son moaning on her lap. Hugging him close, she must have thought back to the day when she discovered the wonderful blessing that she was pregnant - a pure miracle! - just like Elisha had promised her. She and her husband had not wanted anything in return for the room they had built for Elisha and his servant, but yet, he felt the need to repay them for their kindness. Upon realizing they never had any children, he told the couple that God would bless them with a child within the year. She remembered laughing in her heart, doubting his words, thinking, "That would be wonderful, but I am too old now! There is no way I am going to have a baby." Yet, two months later she began noticing changes in her body. She did not dare be hopeful that Elisha's words could truly be coming to pass, so she waited with baited breath. It was not until she felt the first flutter of movement inside her womb that she really began to believe. Her excitement grew as her belly grew, and she could not wait to meet her sweet little babe. Everything had been so good, so wonderful and he grew quickly after he was born. Now he even liked to go outside with his father and help him work in the gardens. Maybe playing with the worms was not exactly working, but as least he was spending time with his papa. A smile played at her lips. Yes, their son was exactly what they had always hoped for in a child. The smile disappeared as the little boy shuddered on her lap.
"My head hurts so bad!" he whispered to her. "Please stop the pain!"
With an aching heart, she watched the life slip away from her son, this answer to a prayer that was never really expressed out loud, but answered anyway. He was a piece of evidence, a living reality that the touch of God was real and He always did what He promised. With a sigh, her son breathed his last breath and relaxed in her arms, his head falling slightly to the side. Tears threatened to spill down her cheeks, but the woman refused to let them come to the surface. This was not the way it was supposed to end and she held on to the promise that if they were to have a son, then God would not take him so soon. Elisha had to be found and he would have to do something about this matter.
With a firm step and belief in her heart, the woman carried her limp son to Elisha's chamber and laid him on the bed. With one last kiss on his forehead, she slipped out of the room, closing the door behind her. On her way out the house, she grabbed her shawl and hurried to find a servant. "Fetch me a horse right away!"
From the field, her husband saw the bustle of excitement in the yard and hurried over.
"Where are you going, my dear?" he asked. "Is everything okay?"
(Here are the words that struck me hard the other day.) With a strong, clear voice, his wife simply answered him, "Yes, dear, it shall be well."
With that she took off in search for Elisha, never informing her husband that their son lay dead inside the house. In her heart she knew that once she found the man of God then everything would be okay. What the husband did not know would never hurt him because their son would walk and talk again before the day was over, and she held on to that hope.
The best part of the story is when Elisha returns with her, prays over the boy, and walks hand in hand down the stairs to his mother's waiting arms. That lady never doubted what God could do. She had seen a miracle in the birth of that little boy, and she knew God could do the same thing in raising him from the dead. Once again she held that answer to prayer in her arms and God was to be praised!
Last weekend, my pastor preached a sermon on faith, something I have heard over and over throughout my life, but his message was right on the money and I certainly needed to hear it again. It never gets old and I never grow tired of being reminded that God is and God can! That very same night I read in my Daily Light book this list of verses that really encouraged me (I love how God reinforces His message to me more than once in a week or even in a day!):
"A double minded man is unstable in all his way." (James 1:8)
"He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb 11:6)
"Let him ask in faith, nothing waivering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." (James 1:6-7)
"What things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them." (Mark 11:24)
So, here is the message from the other Sunday morning. I pray you are encouraged and can walk away with a new hope and faith in your heart that God will do just as He promised...we only need to have faith. God bless!
As I munched on a crisp, juicy apple someone asked me, "What is worse than finding a worm in your apple?" Since I had heard the question before, I obviously knew the answer, but it still caused me to take a good look at the piece of fruit I was eating to make sure there was not an uninvited guest inside. If you do not already know the answer to the question above, let me enlighten you: what is worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm. Yuck! It is never fun to find a worm inside anything I am eating. Like corn on the cob - those green, ugly looking things that you find as you are husking the corn, that leave big, black spots on an otherwise perfectly good ear of corn. Or the strange green caterpillar things that hide in the broccoli stalks of homegrown broccoli. Even when I blanched it, the worms still clung stubbornly to the inside of the stems. Nothing like ruining the appetite for fresh broccoli after that!
I have often wondered about worms and always assumed that they came up from the ground when it rained because either they enjoyed the rain and liked to frolic in the water, or that their tunnels were flooded from the downpour and they needed to get up so they would not drown. We were watching a kid's show the other day about worms and interestingly enough, we learned that the reason worms came up was not for either of the two reason I originally thought, but, get this, because they simply enjoy coming up whenever they can. Since the sun (which would normally cook them) is not out during a rainy day they can come out and enjoy being out of the dirt. It is as simple as that. For no other reason than because they can. That is where I began to wonder if worms frolic and play when they come up from the ground. It is a strange question, but one that I had to take some time to ponder. As if I do not have enough to think about these days...sometimes a tired brain goes down little rabbit trails in the process of getting through the day. :)
Dealing with six 4 and 5 year olds every day brings up some odd questions and comments. There is one little girl who never ceases to amaze me with her comments. She makes me laugh and always surprises me. Today we had a quick game of Round the World with some basic addition problems, which they are learning to really love. She is a great reader and quite a bit ahead of the other students, but she had not picked up the concept of addition quite yet. She was getting quite frustrated because she could not answer fast enough and when we were finished she asked me with great big tears in her eyes, "Why are they so hard on me when I am so easy on them?" I think she thought the other students were the issue here and since they were not letting her win they were being hard on her.
Another time she informed me that her parents had changed since they moved from California. "They use to be fun when we lived in California, but now they are just organized." I guess all they do now is make her work when she is at home and she does not like it.
Yes, questions of all sorts come my way throughout the day and some of them make me laugh, while some others make me scratch my head. Some questions are ones that I can answer and others are questions that leave me puzzled, concerned, or keep me hanging for quite some time. When the questions are hard, I am glad I have Someone to turn to for an answer; even when He may not tell me what I want to hear or tells me to wait, I can depend on the Lord to help carry a burden by casting it down at His feet. He will lift us up beyond our earthly feelings and gently lead us, as a shepherd leads his flock, and take care of us. The question today is, have you asked Him to help answer your questions?
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
My ten year old daughter made her first dessert alone today. She did a really good job of it too. So much so, that one of my sons commented on how good the peanut butter cup brownies were and when I told him Alaina had made them, he clamped his mouth shut in surprise. I told him it was okay to compliment his sister, which he did with a little coaxing. Having that specific knowledge did not slow him down after dinner though. He dug into those brownies without any problem.
I remember the day when I made my first dessert by myself. The dessert was Rice Krispy Treats and I was very proud of my accomplishments when I presented them to my family. That was the start of my love for baking and throughout my teen years I perfected my God given talents by baking for my family. There was never a shortage of people who were willing to sample the cookie dough, or taste the batter as I poured it into the pan.
I admit I made many flops, but one certain time sticks in my mind when I had a little accident with the mixer. I was happily mixing up something at the table and leaned down to check how everything looked. My long hair fell over my shoulder and the mixer quickly snatched it up and twirled it around, pulling my head down with it. In a panic I quickly hollered for help and my brother came running to unplug the machine. Needless to say, that batch of whatever I was making went into the garbage. Nobody enjoys finding hair in their food!
My ten year old was not the only one who accomplished something today. This was the first Saturday since we started school where I was actually home all day. I made the most of my time cleaning and working to rearrange much of the bedrooms for some new furniture (new to us that is) that Joe was going to set up. We got everything done and now I am completely exhausted but happy that part is done. Now I can go back to school on Monday having a load off the back of my mind.
School is going very well and every day the six children I teach make some kind of comment that puts a smile on my face. You never know what children will say and they sure do keep me on my toes. Teaching kindergarten is the easy part; what I find tough is trying to keep up with all the other stuff I need to do in the short few hours that I am home. True, it has only been three weeks into it and they say it takes six weeks to adjust to a new schedule, so in that case, we are halfway through it. Maybe in another week or two I will be okay with the new normal.
We spent a wonderful time with my family up at Smuggler's Notch, Vermont, last weekend, and got some good quality time in. The children were thrilled to be able to see their cousins, and we even had all nine of the cousins at our condo one night. We managed to get them all to sleep by midnight and there were no mishaps or tears, which meant I could sleep well too. God blessed the weather and kept the rain away the Monday it was predicted to be stormy. It was on that day that I became convinced that the weathermen are always wrong because there are people out there praying that their predictions will not come to pass. God answers so many prayers of people praying against the rain that it makes the weather people look bad! It was always that way when we went to visit my grandparents for a week in the summer. I can still hear my grandfather (who was not saved) saying, "Yes, today is going to be nice, but the next few days are supposed to be rainy. Doesn't look like we will be able to get out and do much this week."
My dad would always smile and say, "We will see." It never ceased to amaze my grandfather at how the sun would come up the next morning without a rain cloud in the sky, and the weather would be perfect the entire week. My grandfather was convinced that the weathermen did not know what they were talking about, but God always got the glory from my family. I am happy to say my grandfather did see the Light a few days before he passed away, when my dad sat down and gave him the Gospel one more time. I cannot wait to see him in heaven someday!
I know this is a bit different than the normal blogs I write, but I wanted to touch base with all of you and let you know what was going on in the Simmons household. Sorry if I went off on a bit of a rabbit trail, but I never tire of remembering the days of my youth. If you did not see the special links on the home page of my site, make sure you scroll down to the bottom of page. I have a link to a free story I wrote (and some other stories from other authors too), plus another link to a writer's website where we will blog about important things to know when it comes to writing.
Have a blessed Lord's day tomorrow! May you feel His presence as you worship Him!