Every night before laying my baby girl in her crib at night, my husband and I practice the habit of praying with her. We first say the Lord’s Prayer and then we end with a prayer that my mom sang to me ever since I can remember. I don’t know the origins of the prayer but the words are as follows:
Jesus tender, Shepherd hear me. Bless Thy little Evangelina tonight. Through the darkness be thou near her, keep her safe ‘till morning light. All this day Thy hand hath held her, and we thank Thee for Thy care. Thou has warmed her, clothed her, fed her, listen to her evening prayer, Amen, goodnight.
Most nights when we say this prayer together, melancholy sets in and I begin to reflect in the darkness of her nursery on what the words we recite mean for us in our daily lives to this tiny creature.
Some nights the prayer catches me from the hustle and bustle of a long day come to a close and reminds me how quickly my baby girl will grow up and perhaps share the same prayer with her own little children. Other nights I’m struck at was a precious gift we have in our arms and how uncertain each passing day can be. What I mean by that is; we don’t know how much time we are given to hold and love the ones we are blessed with and for that we entrust them to the care of our Lord. We raise them in a way that promises the hope of restoration for if they are taken from us, and we pray that God would hold them throughout long days and longer night. Every night as we pray; “Thou has warmed her, clothed her, fed her” I am held in aww at the truth in those words for us. Call it “karma, fate, kindness” or whatever else this modern co-exist culture prefers to call it, but I know it is nothing short of the hand of my God caring for my baby girl in ways we can not.
The truth and reality is that by western American standards, Roberto and I should have never had a baby. We are not financially stable enough to support her, CPS would deem our house unfit for the raising of a little child, and my own body has seemed to reject the tasks of providing my baby with all that she needs and yet she is a healthy, happy baby with all that she needs and more.
When I begin to worry about the number and quality of days that I have to hold my child, I try to remind myself of the many ways the Lord has provided thus far for my child. It calms my heart to know the very hands of God that work in and among His people to give them good things and provide them with all that they need and more are the very same hands that were nailed to a cross to grant us salvation. Length of days may be short and the quality of them may not be as pleasant as hoped but eternity is a precious gift we hold right now as a comfort. The provision for the length of our days is a reminder of that provision for eternity. He holds us now in the midst of struggles to bring us to Him for an eternity of joy in His presence. He remains with us through the darkness util the morning light and we thank Him for all that He gives us.
Roberto and I are so thankful for all that the Lord has given us in 2017 and we are thankful for all of you who have loved us, supported us, and prayed for us. You certainly have shown us the mercy and care of our Lord through all that you do. May God bless you and your family in this new year.
Matthew 6:25-34New King James Version (NKJV)
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.