During my last visit to New York city I took the opportunity to re-stage this picture. The scenery has changed. The famous Sam Ash Music store has now changed location and also gone, are a couple of other historical stores we visited back in 2009. It has been a six year journey between then and now. The image of my sons walking this street again brings on a flood of emotions. The first time they walked this street they conceived a dream and a vision only God could produce. I wish I could say the journey to this point was easy and smooth but it wasn’t.
They are now taller and stronger. Their talents and gifts have been planted out of the greenhouse and into the field of real life . Their speech has changed, their eyes have matured, and their strut has a different rhythm. Time has surely played its role.
The journey here was a rough one. Along the road we stumbled upon the stones of humanity and weakness. There were mistakes and decisions that were so epic we nearly almost perished in the valley we fell into. But, like the song says, “we found heaven is LOVE love swept low.” Isaiah 41:10 says “I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” SURELY, is the key word! God did not say perhaps, maybe, it depends on ___ (etc. etc.) It says SURELY HE will help us. God’s mercy delivered and rescued us over and over again.
There were thieves and murderers along the way. I can recall seasons of total pandemonium. There were days that we felt as if all hell had broken loose over us. I looked up to God and literally called to HIM to tell HIM that I could smell hell around me (as if he wasn’t aware). His loving voice said the following— “I am allowing it… It’s time to show the enemy HOW CLOSE I STAND BY… SO THAT THEY KNOW YOU ARE MINE AND I WILL SHELTER YOU. The Holy spirit pointed to the word “And they shall know that I am the LORD their God” Ex. 29:46. My prayers had always been to divert all wickedness against us, to fight so hard that no evil could come close, but God reminded me of HIS children crossing the Red Sea. He allowed Pharaoh and his army to come dangerously close. So close, that they could feel the ground tremble and quake at the size and power of the enemy’s army and their horses. Right before their eyes, every single oppressor, enemy, abuser, thief and murderer drowned. Sometimes God will allow them to come close so that you will witness their destruction.
At times the journey up the mountain seemed endless. The road was long and seemed to go on forever. We kept climbing, kept going, kept hoping knowing eventually we would reach a resting point. Precious people along the way extended a helping hand, washed our feet, nourished our souls, gave us word, encouraged us and set us on our way. The Lord will surely bless those who have blessed us, just as he promised. (Gen. 12:3) The thieves and murderers along the way showed their face. God taught us to forgive, to press forward and to love anyway. There was no time to stop and seek revenge. God set his heavenly wind to our back and urged us to keep moving.
There was a word I held on to daily. It built a bridge of faith from the first time I took their picture to now… Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not see it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” —Hold on, read that again and read it slowly…. it says IN THE WILDERNESS…. IN THE DESERT! Whoa! No wonder! It finally hit me! God shows up in our wilderness and deserts. In our confusion and desolation, in our chaos and our bareness… it is then that HE is glorified! HIS name is exalted in the places where sudden miracles happen. It is here where the Lord breaks down the gates and cuts through the iron bars. (Is. 45:2) In our desert we saw acceptance letters to universities I never dreamed would open a door for my children, scholarships lined up in to cover the costs, and kingdom people appeared to guide us along. God is definitely doing a new thing. Nothing could be newer than the story HE is writing for these boys.
I can’t tell you how hard I prayed for the storms not to hit us, for evil to keep it’s distance, for chaos to turn away. Yet, I have to say, God allowed it. All along I thought I was protecting my children but little did I know that GOD wanted to show HIMSELF to them. It’s one thing, for me and my husband to believe and know that God will come through. I can preach it and say it to my children all day long. It is another thing when GOD decides to walk them through it HIMSELF… As a strong arm in battle, a very present help in times of trouble, they know HIM as Jehova Jireh, Jehova Nissi, and El Shaddai. Their very eyes saw it. They cannot deny that they have seen GOD. The GOD that delivers, rescues, opens doors, destroys the thief, drowns the murderers, and makes a way where there was none.
I pray that as mothers and daughters we continue to fight strong for our homes, for our children and their destinies. Continue to stand on the frontline for our generations. Know and understand that if God does not deviate the storm it is because HE is showing us WHO HE is, and what HE will do! I pray our children will know GOD personally. We will not settle for a casual relationship with HIM but that they will walk in covenant with HIM.
Blessings in Christ,