As I reached over to turn off my alarm clock I saw two postcards on the end table next to my bed. Written on each of them was a Bible verse. One had the words to Philippians 4:6&7. It goes like this: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I recognized the handwriting immediately. The young woman who penned it had noticed that her dad was quite troubled of late. That I had been coming home from work for weeks now bothered by issues that my wife knew about, but that I tried to hide from my children. They didn’t need to know about the stress and strain of the ‘grown up world’ this early in life. There was time enough for that later.
Those two verses were a tremendous encouragement to me. I had read them each many times before, but when my teen daughter made it a point to sneak into my bedroom in the morning to put them at my bedside, they took on an extra special impact. It came at just the perfect time that I needed it. God had a habit of speaking to me through my wife and children all throughout my life and His timing was always perfect.
That was over 24 years ago. My daughter is over 38 years old now (forgive me Lisa for revealing your age) and she continues to be a wise, spiritually-mature, responsible woman whose thoughts and opinions I cherish.
I just closed my Bible after my morning’s reading. I have just finished reading Philippians 4:6&7 and I had a flashback to 24 years ago. You see, 24 years ago was when I approached my wife about this crazy idea I had for us to start our own non-profit agency to provide foster and adoptive homes for children in Cleveland. It was a stressful time for us (Debbie and I) and I guess it showed; at least to one very perceptive teenager. She knew what to do though. Imagine…getting great advice from an adolescent! How many parents can say that about their teens.
These days are filled with lots of prayer and petitioning as OFY ventures into the ‘new territory’ of private domestic and international adoptions. I am thankful for what the good Lord has done for us. I am asking Him these days to guard my heart and my mind…and yes…to give me peace.
What we are trying to do here at OFY ‘rattles my cage’ sometimes. I’m reminded by some past events that He is always with me…He’s closer than I think.
We all have to follow some form of wisdom. Some rely on their own smarts while others look to the sayings of those who have become famous over the years. This ancient advice from a broken down, persecuted missionary named Paul suits me just fine. What makes it more fitting is that it’s still being emphasized by at least one guy’s daughter over 2,000 years later.
As I’m getting older my memory isn’t what it used to be. However, I won’t forget though those two little postcards by my bedside over 24 years ago.