North of us about 4 hours is another small town,it has a population of about 2,300.
And by now many of you have heard of it because as you will hear it had a tragedy.
A young boy named Ethan was taken hostage by an evil mad man
and held in an underground bunker for 7 days,
Yes this is the news- the media you will hear.
But that small town , those faithful FBI,
sheriff, and police and
one trusting brave mama heard something else.
One news source reported "She knew there was but one option for the way this would end."
A sheriff remarked "How very brave she was and never thought her little boy wouldn't be okay"
How can this women manage that? I think I would have to be medicated heavily.
How do negotiators stay calm?
How do towns people kneel fervently in prayer hour after hour?
How do scores and scores of meals get prepared and offered with open hands to strangers?
How do men stay awake day after day and function?
How does a little boy rest outside the arms of his mother?
This is how.
In my wrestling with this horrible thing,
I wondered how that mama wrestled.
How I would want to take my child place
Offer myself up for the ransom
Make the trade
Release my child
I will take whatever you dish out... pay whatever price you require
Only release my child.
in my anxiety over this situation, me a stranger to this town , this family
my anxiety minuscule compared to theirs
I am restless
I plead for
God to intervene
I am lead to this verse in Isaiah 49:25
For this is what the Lord says:
"Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken, and the prey of the tyrant delivered; I will contend with those who contend with you , and I will save your children."
I have been brought to this verse 2 other very intentional times in my life by God.
Once many, many years ago before I even had children.
For a man named Mike Durant.
I remember his name because it its written in my Bible.
I never met him, spoke to him, wrote to him....nothing.
He was a young soldier captured during the Gulf War and made a sport of by his captors.
My soul was so distraught for this young man (probably close to my age at the time)
I came across Isaiah49:24
"Can plunder be taken from the warriors or captives rescued from the fierce?"
Doesn't this question run through our minds?
I wondered it for Mike Durant at the time.
Didn't Ethan's mama ponder this in her heart?
We all wonder and question. And God know this
Thisverse in the form of question is for us.
But it is not left unattended
He answers :
For this is what the LORD says:
Captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved form the fierce;
Does he not he let us know it is HE who answers?
and then comes His answer :YES
Yes they can.
And then He gives us more to our aching hearts and questioning minds:
"I will contend with those who contend with you
and your children I will save."
Now that is a "I got your back" statement , if there ever was.
We are assured
of His care
of His ability
I prayed these scriptures over Mike Durant and others as situations arose and the Holy Spirit prompted me.
I was reminded of these verses of Hope when I heard about Ethan.
Are they a guarantee?
They are--but not of my will and plans
but of His.
Sometime this side of eternity it doesn't work out the way we want or pray for it.
We are but one sid eof the tapestry of our lives.
So I continue to Hope
I am wholly convinced of this:
That nothing is withheld from God's hand that is His.
His children are not captives - they are free and clear His.
HE paid that price
HE took that ransom
HE exchanged Himself
for our release.
His ways are always more and further and deeper than I can know in this life
So what if things don't always go our way.
If we do not see earthly release as in Mike Durant and Ethan's case?
Do we give up , doubt , throw away our hope?
We might want to
Most likely feel like it.
To throw away Hope is to kill ones own soul by ones own choice.
Can a mother ever stop hoping for her child?
For their release?
From a physical captor
The ultimate parent never gives up Hope-ever.
And their is only one most incredible ultimate parent-
Place All Hope Always in Him
His Hope is always there--
demonstrative on the cross and wooing you minute by minute to take the great exchange.
for He never cease to Hope for you.