She looked around the room. Gathered about her were five generations. Her own babies were great-grandparents now. Imagine that! When she married at 16, she would never have dreamed this day.
Yet here, surrounded by so many smiling faces, twitching and fidgeting children, was the evidence. It was not a dream. It was a reality.
In the bitter sweetness of the moment, her heart ached for Bobby. He had been so tall, so dashing and so full of wild adventure. Her parents did not like him. They felt he was too shiftless. He would never take care of her.
Sadly, they had been right. He had not taken care of her in the manner her parents had expected. He was always chasing one dream or another. Never content, never settled, he always wanted more.
And there had been more. More worries, more debt and more mouths to feed. Eventually there were five sets of shoeless feet under the handmade dining table clamoring for meals. Despite the struggles to make ends meet, there had always been lots of laughter. Bobby always knew how to make a half empty situation seem full.
Then he died. He left her alone to care for five children.
His death also left a huge empty space in her heart. How could she ever feel whole again? But who had time to worry about that?
The urgency of survival overtook her sorrow. Then one day she was dabbing a Kleenex at a single stray tear as the last child marched across a graduation platform. Somehow, without even realizing it, twenty-five years had passed and all five children had finished college. Two were married. A grandbaby was in the making. Life was moving on, but was she?
Suddenly an empty house began screaming at her. Was her life empty? Were family, work, chores and routine all there was to life? Where was the deep fulfilling satisfaction Christ has promised? Why did she feel so hollow?
Free time and fewer budget demands gave way to new opportunities. Service projects, creative hobbies, shopping trips, church outreaches and endless rendezvous with assorted friends swallowed her calendar. Yet in all the activity, she felt drained, depleted and worthless. There had to be more.
One evening sitting alone on her porch gazing at the glorious night sky, a single star zipped across the night separating the darkness for a split second. She felt like the star. A bright light, gleaming for an instant and then gone. What had she done that mattered?
As she looked around the room once more, she could see how her hands had nurtured and loved five children into adulthood. What fine adults there were! Each was successful in their chosen profession. Each had carefully and prayerfully chosen an exceptional spouse. Each had committed their lives to Christ and was passing the godly heritage down with each new generation. Compared to so many others, she had so much to be thankful for…and she was…very thankful…but fulfilled? Satisfied? Complete?
That night, alone in her quiet time, she asked her loving heavenly Father once more for the secret to feeling complete and fulfilled. And once more He reminded her, “You walk by faith, dear one, not by feelings. You stand on My words, not your emotions. Situations and circumstances change, My words do not. Come to Me, in Me you will find rest for your soul. In Me, the desert places of your heart will become a pasture land teaming with life. Only in Me, no other place.”
Slipping under the covers she nestled into the security of the Father’s loving embrace and once again received the deep satisfaction she always longed for, as He had promised, alone with Him only.
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