Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FORGET (10/17/19)
- TITLE: Bring Them to Me
By Janet Richey
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My middle child, born with layered shades of brown/black hair, porcelain doll-like eyes and an olive complexion, picked up Spanish easily, and naturally blended with the natives of Ecuador. She was also born with an unquenchable thirst for adventure and a razor sharp focus to reach her goals. Deep inside these mothering bones, I knew I would one day have to share her with the wilderness, and harder still, encourage her to do it.
Eight weeks into her study abroad program for wildlife conservation in Quito, and six hours before she was to fly to the island of San Cristobal, she texted me a picture of angry red welts on her legs the size of half dollars, painful and hot to the touch. Her tone was, for sure, curiosity over concern, â€œWhat kind of disease do you think would cause this kind of rash?â€
You never know what will force you to your knees in prayer. On that anxiety-ridden night, I gave God some very convincing reasons to keep her alive. The biblical truth that He loved her more than I did, suddenly sounded like an insensitive platitude that didnâ€™t actually apply to my kids. It was so easy to forget the purity in that promise.
Fortunately, my husband has a clearer head than I. While I was busy telling God what to do, her dad was asking all the right questions, and giving sound advice that she would take more seriously from him. At 4 A.M. the next morning, my GPS tracker told me she was at an airport in Quito. In a feeble attempt at humor, I texted, â€œAll cleared for travel, or being medically evacuated?â€ I could hear her eyes roll, 2,700 miles away.
â€œYeah. Gonna get it checked out there.â€
â€œAre they any worse?â€ I pushed.
Clearly, she takes after her father.
So, she didnâ€™t die of sepsis. The rash was a result of a jellyfish encounter, and while her joints felt like that of an 80 year old, time and medical treatment would take her to a full recovery.
A week later, my husband casually barged in on a piece I was writing about Godâ€™s love and provision. â€œApparently thereâ€™s been a political uprising in Quito, and the cityâ€™s been shut down by protesters.â€ I slammed the lid down on my laptop, and put my head in my hands while he continued. â€œIâ€™ve talked with her. The Islands havenâ€™t been affected, but they are to prepare for the possibility of power outages.â€
Power outages?! When the battery on her cell phone died, so would her GPS signal. Iâ€™d never see her again.
Matthew 17:17 ESV â€œOh faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to meâ€. While this tells the story of how Jesus cast a demon out of a child that the faithless disciples could not, it is exactly what comes to mind when I think about this vicious cycle of worry then thankfulness for Godâ€™s answer to every single prayer Iâ€™ve uttered for my children.
â€œBring him here to me,â€ Jesus said. When they are on a rowdy school bus, a faraway college campus, or in a foreign land. Bring them. We donâ€™t get to see His playbook, but God will answer our petitions, in His perfect timing, in His everlasting love, in ways we canâ€™t possibly expect. Thereâ€™s no greater comfort in that promise.
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