I do not know about you, but I have a few unfinished writing projects just waiting to be finished – or more accurately waiting for this brain to process enough information for them to be completed.
A number of years ago I started writing a collection of topical prayers for my grandchildren. I planned to call it A Grandpa from ‘Waukee Prays. I still have the draft copies of prayers, but the collection needs to be expanded in number before I would consider giving them to my grandchildren.
Part of the reason for the unfinished state was my own lack of discipline and ideas. Actually I had plenty of ideas, but they seemed a lot better in my head than on paper.
Additionally, as I wrote the prayers, I realized that almost every one of them was a plea to the Heavenly Father to protect my grandchildren in some way no matter the subject matter. The more I wrote, the more I began to develop some trepidation for what the future holds for my grandchildren. From what I can tell, despite all the advancements that are being made, our world does not appear to be getting any better.
Writing about those prayers now revived those uncertainties about the world in which my grandchildren will live. The news for the last couple of months has done nothing to change my mind about the condition of our world.
I have heard, “I’m sure your grandparents had the same fearful thoughts when you were growing up and see, you made it through.” As time passes, I discover that as a grandparent, I tend to look at the world very differently than I did when raising my own children. Then it was the working and earning and providing. Now I find myself watching in pride and praying and sometimes worrying.
Do not get me wrong. I am not a depressed dooms day type of person. I am thoroughly blessed with the life I am given. I am also appreciative of the good that God has placed in this world. Actually I am sort of in the same place I was when my recovery began.
I was told over and over to live one day at a time. I should avoid looking at staying sober forever, just the next 1 or 2 or 24 hours if that is what worked. But I would look ahead and try to anticipate the challenges to my sobriety. At time, that caused some anxiety.
What helped me then, and what I need to concentrate on now is the consistent message given to me in the Bible in passages like Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…Be still, and know that I am God.
If that did not help, my loving Heavenly Father provided more assurance in Romans 8: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That is the same Jesus who came to pay for all my sins. The same Jesus who opened heaven for me. Surely, if he took care of my salvation, he could and would take care of my present and the future.
Verses like these helped me to concentrate on the present and what I could do and not look at all the parts of my life over which I had no control. Believe it or not, I found out that was about 99% of my life. I had control over the choices I made as long as I did not drink. And to have that finally sink in was a great relief.
I still know those passages and the truth found there. For a while though, as I said earlier, I expressed some issues in applying them to the future of my grandchildren. But being the loving God he is, the reminders of who is really in control have never stopped flowing over me. Literally every time I am struggling with anxiety over some obstacle in my life, the following song by Ryan Stevenson (In the Eye of the Storm, 2015), comes on my car radio.
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control, in the middle of the war, You guard my soul. You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn; Your love surrounds, me in the eye of the storm.
So now the way is open for me to finish those prayers so my grandchildren can be reminded of the love their Savior has for them, right? And surely I must be opening the file right now to put the finishing touches on those prayers. Mmmm. Well, the only way to really know is for you to come back – I will wait you.