My church posts a “chapter of the day” on its website and facebook, and it’s been amazing to me how applicable each day’s passage has been to my life!
My second eldest son leaves this morning to head out to Youth With a Mission’s Musicians Discipleship Training School in Denver. That’s 1,760.80 miles away from here, in case you didn’t know. Which is very far. Too far. Sigh.
It’s been a strange week. Over the weekend we took everyone to Disney for one last family trip. Zach loves Disney more than anyone else in our family, I think (and that’s saying a lot!) And he’s always holding or helping someone.
We love Teen Missions. Great people. Zach had wonderful leaders and really enjoyed his time there … pretty amazing, considering what he spent his summer doing …
Climbing this wall every morning at 6 am … wearing these …
And then living here … and yes, that’s dirt for a floor and no walls save their tents, and it rained every day …
Eating things that looked like this …
For precious people like these …
And these …
So we know how it is to have him be away. It pretty much stinks.
But again, it’s time! Time to say goodbye for awhile.This is what we raise them for, right? Not to hold tight, but to send out. YWAM has a great program. He’ll spend 12 weeks with a pretty small group of young people taking classes about practical theology and discipleship–hearing God’s voice, serving people, building relationships, evangelism, etc. And then they’ll leave for seven weeks of service somewhere overseas (they’ll decide *where* their first week) and then one more back here (Denver here) for a quick de-briefing before heading back home. Or … off to wherever God told them to go while they had such an intense time to listen.
Zachary is a sweet light in our home. He can always be counted on to take care of whatever needs to be taken care of without complaint. I can honestly say I don’t think he’s ever given me a day of grief in his life. He’s weathered changes and disappointments without wavering or becoming bitter. Whenever I read the words Jesus spoke upon meeting Nathanael as recorded in John 1:47 , they remind me of Zach; He said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed; in whom there is no deceit!” The NIV says, “in whom there is nothing false.” And the New Living Translation has Him saying, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel–a man of complete integrity.” That’s Zach.
His first name means “The Lord remembers.” We got a kick out of the fact that he was born nine days past his due date … we figured the Lord had *finally* remembered to have him arrive, haha! And I’ve just learned something new; while we named him Zachary *Aaron* both because we liked the sound of those names together and in honor of Moses’ brother and spokesperson, praying he, too, would be a spokesman for the Lord, the first definition popping up as I google it this morning is actually “mountain.” Awesome, because he loves the mountains, and so do I. Now he gets to go live near some.
When I was pregnant with Zach I always felt the Lord was going to anoint his hands, and I thought perhaps he’d perhaps build … be a doctor … something like that. It was amazing to me when he began playing piano just a few years ago and had such a gift for it. He continues to be my piano guy today. That’s why he’s going to a musicians training school, of course. We’ll see what comes next! Hopefully, it won’t be anything 1,760.80 miles away.
I love that kid. I’m going to really, really, really, really miss him.
Enough of that; sheesh. So, anyway, I was very grateful this morning that the Lord’s first word to me in the chosen passage, Isaiah 40, was “Comfort.”
“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the LORD’S hand
Double for all her sins.”
3 A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
4 “Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
5 Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.
9 Get yourself up on a high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of good news,
Lift up your voice mightily,
O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.
18 To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it,
A goldsmith plates it with gold,
And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.
20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering
Selects a tree that does not rot;
He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman
To prepare an idol thatwill not totter.
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
24 Scarcely have they been planted,
Scarcely have they been sown,
Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth,
But He merely blows on them, and they wither,
And the storm carries them away like stubble.
25 “To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
God is good. All the time.
We will avoid “Goodbye.” I much prefer, “See you later.”