The only thing worse than waiting for Daddy to fulfill his promise is hearing his excuses—why he wouldn’t be making good on them. Once or twice, understandable; consistent behavior sets a precedent. Sitting on the porch step, expectant, excited, filled with hope that this time it would be different, ends in disappointment. He stays out later and later. He and Mom fight more. Noises ricochet off the walls in the middle of the night. Tires screech as the engine roars down the street. He’s gone to work again, mad. Mom’s crying.
“We’re not going to be married anymore.” Mom’s voice is more calm than usual. Things will get better now.
But it doesn’t. Child support goes unpaid. Clothes are wearing thin. Socks block the holes in the teenage girl’s pants to hide her shame. Food is scarce. The bank is foreclosing. Mom spends time at the bar with her new friends. The girl learns to trust only one person—herself—and even that is questionable.
Then one day, a man speaks. The girl is drawn to the One the man talks about. There is one problem. The One is described as her Father. She takes a chance anyway and joins the church her grandmother attends. A favorite song is “Jehovah Jireh, my provider… His grace is sufficient for me…” she sings, claps to the beat and even smiles as she mouths the words.
Trouble comes, though, when He makes a promise to her. He gives her a gift, a dream, and a passion. It’s hers. She’ll cherish it forever. She takes it with her everywhere, like a security blanket tucked snugly in her pocket so whenever she wants she can caress it and pull it out to admire it. Then He asks for it back.
She remembers the story of Abraham taking Isaac up the mountain. The story does nothing to soothe her anxious thoughts:
What if He never brings it about? What if this promise was her wishful thinking and not from Him? What if she’s just chasing the wind? What if she’s tossing the ball into the wrong playing field? What if she opened the wrong package and hers is somewhere under the tree, mocking her?
Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!(Matthew 7: 7 – 11 NKJV)
I have begged God to help me trust Him. He’s done miraculous things to provide but it’s the promised gift that trips me into the ravine of despair.
On December 1, my husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. For this day, our children found other places to be for the evening while we stayed home and had a quiet dinner together. He cooked.
We also watched the movie, P.S. I Love You. In the beginning scene, there is an argument between husband and wife. The details don’t matter as much as the bottom line. She feared him leaving her, as her father did to her mother, when she was fourteen. He stopped her rant, “I am not your father. I’m not going anywhere.”
This statement has rung in my ears and heart since that night. It’s as though God has my face in His hands, saying, “I AM… not him. You can trust Me.”
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.(Psalm 34: 8 – 10 NKJV)