Love, The Bible, and Childcare

Today’s post comes from David Etim who is writing from Lagos, Nigeria.   David voluntarily retired as a career banker in 1998 to strengthen his commitments to God and to serve humanity better. His post shows the wisdom he gained about love in the Bible and through caring for someone else’s child.

Steve Maraboli once said “The bank of love is never bankrupt.” I believe this is true.

Life is very interesting and fulfilling when you are connected to someone worth loving forever. Once, a young widow visited me to inform me that she has been gainfully employed but she didn’t have a place to keep her son while she would be on shift from 5.00a.m. – 11.00 p.m. Her efforts to find a place to care for him while she was working were all unsuccessful, and what could she do now? She asked me.
I told her to bring the boy to me. He was one year and six months old when I began to care for him. His mother was very happy and expressed her heartfelt gratitude toward me for helping to care for her son.

God gave me special grace to take good care of the young lad as if he were my biological son. The most exciting aspect of it all is that I do not have a biological child and I have never been married.

I found help in the Scriptures, where God unveils a recipe for love:
“Well, where is he?” their father demanded. “Did you just leave him there? Invite him home for supper.”
…Anyone who takes care of a little child like this is caring for me….. Your care for others is the measure of your greatness” ( Luke 9:48 TLB ).
“There is no one like Timothy for having real interest in you, everyone else seems to be worrying about his own plan and not those of Jesus
Christ” ( Philippians 2: 20 TLB).
“but we have always cared for orphans in our home, treating them as our own children” ( Job 31:18 TLB).

When he was of age, I began taking him to school and after school sessions. His performances from play group to kindergarten have always been excellent and remarkable. We are all very happy.

I believe, when God locates someone whose concern is all about helping others, He will direct His grace towards such person. The good thing in life is that what you make happen for others, God will make happen to you.

Through all my experiences, I have found that people do not really care how much we know, but how much we care.
“… I have told you all my feelings; I love you with all my heart. Any coldness still between us is not because of any lack of love on my part, but because your love is too small and does not reach out to me and draw me in” ( 2 Corinthians 6: 11-12 TLB).

Persevering toward Hope

By: Autumn Elizabeth

Where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me?

Job 17:15

Lent this year was very hard for me, and not just because I was far away from friends and family, both literally(since I moved to Germany) and figuratively( since I gave up Facebook for the Lenten season). Lent’s forty days of preparation, penitence and perseverance  came on top of six months of unemployment,  a divorce and over a year of trying to keep my relationship together. Sufficed to say, I was ready for Easter.

However, Lent doesn’t end with Easter, Lent ends with the last supper, crucifixion and death. After forty days of preparing and waiting, we have to face even darker times before hope appears.

It is easy to forget about the suffering of Jesus on the cross because we know the outcome. Jesus will be resurrected!  Joy lives!  However, the truth is we have to dwell in the darkness first. Without pain there are no new beginnings; without the suffering of crucifixion we have no resurrection.

I find that life is a lot like the Lenten season. I wait, I pray, I hope and hope fails, I struggle, I hope again and at the end, I still must suffer through more before I am renewed with joy. But when joy finally comes, it is so sweet.

I, like Jesus’s mother and disciples do not know when joy will be coming around again, and sometimes it hurts too much to hope. Sometimes the most we can do is keep living,  keep persevering  and keep hoping for hope to come. Usually it is after our darkest hours, that hope rises brightest.

So this Easter, to those  full of hope,  and those who are still persevering toward hope, I say with immense relief,  “Hallelujah, Christ is risen!”