The other day during staff prayer time, I shared an exciting opportunity that our youngest son, Isaiah, has been given. The context was to reveal God’s faithfulness in even the smallest of things and how He can present platforms for our children to reveal His glory, even (and perhaps especially) in the most unconventional of ways. That evening, however, he faced some difficulties that shook him to the core. Markel and I returned from small group to find him in a bit of an emotional mud puddle… That evening, Markel spoke Truth to Isaiah, reminding him of who he is and more importantly, Whose he is…that the Lord knows each and every thing that he is facing and that He actually commands us to lay down our burdens SO THAT He can carry them. For those of you who know me, I gist stuff a lot – if I gisted Markel’s message, it would be this: “Do not be shaken or stirred, for God is with you.”
Well early the next morning, as I rode with Markel to the gym, I checked my email and discovered that a lower school teacher had sent an email the evening before…what was astonishing was that the time stamp on the email was smack dab at the moment when Isaiah felt like circumstances were closing in on him. Y'all, the email took the very breath out of my lungs…this teacher heard the Holy Spirit prompt her to send an email titled,
“Isaiah – not be shaken”. What?! She said she had been reading that verse in her Bible and went on to write,
…I kept thinking about the opportunity and the obstacles. Because, opportunity always encompasses obstacles….so…my prayer over Isaiah is this…What a gift you have bestowed on Isaiah. With your words on his tongue and his eyes on your eternal face, let Isaiah not be shaken. Let him be a leader who steps forward in love, always. A leader who is not afraid of adversity, not afraid of differences, not afraid of obstacles…
She sent this prayer about obstacles at the very moment that Isaiah was facing one, or if he was telling the story, he would say many.
When I returned home from the gym, I sat down with my coffee and one year Bible and began reading Isaiah 55. When I landed on 55:22 my breath escaped my lungs for the second time that morning as I read,
Cast your cares on Yahweh and He shall sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Four words stood out, so I looked up the Greek definitions:
Cast– means to fling or to throw away; to hurl
Cares– means burden; your lot or circumstance; to give
Sustain– to contain, to keep in, nourish and support
Moved– to totter, to slip or to SHAKE!
The bottom line is this teacher’s obedience to send that email of encouragement was a decision to engage in the community where God has her and in doing so, my family was able to experience the tangible presence and faithfulness of God! This is the foundational why behind our choice of Engaged Community as a core value at LCA – it is actually the last one, so its kinda funny that I would write about the last one first, but perhaps that’s a word of encouragement for another day. :)
Families, it is our distinct prayer that you too might experience the tangible presence and faithfulness of God by your very connection to the LCA community. As I close this encouragement, my prayer for each you is that as you go through the day, you would remember to fling your cares down at the feet of Jesus…that to the extent that you cast your cares away, He would keep you in, containing you in the shadow of His wings, nourishing and supporting you so that you may become a family who would not be shaken!
Soaking Song - We Will Not Be Shaken
Swanky Song - Look Up Child