A reminder of God's promise

The sun breaks through the clouds between rainstorms, and I see my chance to embark on yard work. I invite my eight-year-old daughter, Gracie, to join me, and she decides to play happily in her room. I let her know I'll be in the backyard if she needs anything.

I put on my work gloves, pull pesky weeds, and gather tired leaves from last fall and dump them in the brown yard debris bin.

Thirty minutes pass.

My ears perk as I hear my name being called.

"Mom. Mom. Mom! MOM!"

Every "Mom!" becomes more urgent, and I can't respond fast enough.

I look over to see her exit our home with tears streaming down her cheeks, and bare feet in the soggy grass.

"I'm right here," I say and walk briskly towards her. "What's wrong?"

"I didn't know where you were," she manages to explain. "I forgot what you said."

I gather her on my knee and wipe a tear.

"I'm right here. Right where I told you I'd be. I would never leave you. Ever."

As this moment happens, I can't help but think about the kindness and assurance of God's promises for my own heart. The times I forget what He's said. The times I wander. The times I cry out to Him over and over. The times I long for His presence when circumstances don't make sense.

In the Old Testament, there's a moment after 40 years of leading the Israelites out of Egypt and through the difficult wilderness where Moses passes the torch of leadership to Joshua.

Moses' words ring in my heart: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deut. 31:6).

Wherever you find yourself on this day as we look forward to celebrating Easter and the hope of the resurrection, I pray you are reminded of God's goodness, presence, and love for you.

Anika Ortiz
Family Pastor