God is big enough to meet us anywhere, anytime.
One of the places He’s been meeting me recently is through my children’s books. While I’m reading fundamental truths about God to my kids, I am also reciting those truths over myself.
Recently, my three-year-old has been obsessed with an adorable book by Ellie Holcomb called, Don’t Forget to Remember. My daughter asks me to read this book every night. The first time I landed on the page where multiple children and all sorts of jungle animals are splashing in puddles under a large rainbow, my heart stirred. I wept as I read the accompanying words,
“On glad days and sad days,
God’s near and He knows.
He can use any storm to make good things grow.”
The most elementary lines, yet the most profound truths. I encourage you to read them again now.
“On glad days and sad days”—that means every day, no matter your mood, no matter your situation. If you’re feeling happy, generous, and grateful or feeling unmotivated, depressed, and sour…
“God’s near”—I mean, can we just sit with that for a minute? God is near to us. Did you forget, friend? Maybe He doesn’t feel close. Maybe He feels distant or even unreachable. He’s not. Borrow the words of David and remember, “Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7 CSB). He is Immanuel—God with us (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He has promised to never leave nor forsake His people (Deut. 31:6,8; Josh. 1:5). Jesus’ last words to the disciples before ascending to the Father in heaven were, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
“And He knows”—man, that gives me chills. He’s not just near, but He knows too! Have you ever been in the middle of a trial where you had a loving community present and willing to help, but you still felt lonely or misunderstood because they didn’t fully know your experience? God’s trustworthiness is made more beautiful as a result of His omniscience. Because He knows every nuance to our struggles and every recess of our hearts, we can trust Him to carry both our deepest pains and brightest joys.
“He can use any storm to make good things grow.” —When I read this part to my kids, I often emphasize the word any. No matter the storm, He is able. But not just able in the sense of being passively adequate or sufficient as if he were just getting by. He’s not merely capable like I am capable of opening a jar of peanut butter. No, He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20 NKJV). Exceedingly, abundantly above. He can use anything. He can do whatever He wills. Whatever He wills will always be for His glory. And whatever is for His glory is definitely something good. Are you tracking with me, friend? The good things He grows will be ultimately good in His eternal economy, even if they’re planted in circumstances that do not feel good in the moment. But oh, what a hope we have, that these light and momentary afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory that is beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen (2 Cor. 4:17-18).
I found some of the richest theology among the simplest of words strung together skillfully in a story for little children. The irony isn’t lost on me, for He beckons that we come to Him as one of these (Matt. 19:14).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Setterlind: Ashley Setterlind is a pastor’s wife, mama of two, and worship leader at LibertyLive.Church in Hampton Roads, VA. She is passionate about encouraging other moms to glorify God in their mundane moments by being deeply rooted in Christ. To learn more about her, visit @ashleysetterlind on Instagram or download her free ebook at www.ashleysetterlind.com.