Today’s Reading: Acts 3:25 (NIV)
25 “And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’”
I remember the hot summer nights, sitting in the dark nursery at 2am, rocking and feeding my newborn daughter Rachel, and praying she would fall asleep soon. Most often when I would go to the crib to feed her, she would be drenched in a pool of sweat, her long hair sticking to the nape of her neck. I didn’t want her to catch a summer cold; and yet, I had such a hard time keeping her room cool enough for Rachel to sleep comfortably and soundly straight through the night. Quite often, I would feed and diaper her, and lay her in the crib uncovered. Because we lived in the country, many of the varmints outside our walls looked for cool places to hibernate in the heat of day. We had a bumper crop of scorpions that summer. We kept a prescription in our medicine chest, just in case one of us got stung. For babies, a scorpion sting can be lethal, and we knew how important it was to protect Rachel. We found that the scorpions would most often enter our home through open doors, electrical outlets and through our wood burning fireplace. Once we covered the fireplace opening and plugged all of the unused outlets, it cut the number of scorpion sightings inside the walls by about half. Sometimes at night, I would find a scorpion climbing up the side of the crib, headed straight for the mattress where Rachel lay. I kept a hard sole shoe next to Rachel’s bed where I quickly eliminated the unwanted visitors with one sound swat.
When I would finish nursing and rocking the baby, I would lay my Rachel down on the mattress and sing quietly to her, as she drifted back to sleep. While my hand was on her back, I would pray for my offspring, asking the Father to watch over and protect her as she slept. I prayed for her life, her future, the man she would one day wed, and the children she would bear. I prayed over her children and their children, knowing in my heart that through her offspring, our lives would be blessed, just as the Father promised. Rachel never got stung by the scorpions hanging around our Texas parsonage. I believe this was the miraculous intervention of the Holy Spirit, birthed through intercessory prayer.
Sometimes it is hard to see the blessing God promises in our offspring. For many years, Abraham and Sarah had no children. They were assured of a great blessing; that the number of their offspring would be as many as the stars of the night sky, and yet, it took generations before that promise was fully revealed. We look at our temporary circumstances and worry about the things our children and grandchildren struggle with daily, wondering where God’s blessing is hiding. We keep swatting at the sins sneaking up on our children from behind while they are trying to sleep, and we cry out prayers of holy intercession, looking for His miracle in the making.
The blessing of God’s love is revealed in the generations. It has been passed from one to the other, through the Word of God, manifested in the love of Jesus Christ. We can see His blessing at work when we look back at the faith of our grandparents and parents, and then fast forward to the hopes and dreams of our children and grandchildren and their children who will carry Christ’s love into the future. The power of intercessory prayer is magnified one hundred fold as we continually pray the prayers of faith God has given us to pray over the generations. We see His blessing in the coming of our Lord, when we will look beyond the slats of our present day crib and the sneaky scorpions in their futile attacks. One day, Christ will return to redeem the generations for all time. Can you see His blessing now?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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