#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
“O Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the Lord,
“For I am with you.
For I will make a full end of all the nations
Where I have driven you,
Yet I will not make a full end of you;
But I will correct you properly
And by no means leave you unpunished.”
This. I have lived this verse. Not as the punished, but the punisher.
I am not my children’s first mom. Their first moms were alcoholics and extremely neglectful. So my children were taken from them. The next moms were orphanage workers, just doing a job. I became their third, or fourth, or … mom. My children had no trust for moms. They didn’t attach. They didn’t understand. They didn’t follow rules. Instead, they caused chaos. Once these children hit adulthood, we “drove” them out.
I can’t imagine their fear. I felt so guilty as a mom. A failure—cold and unloving. Yet I knew this driving out was for their best. I knew they had to figure things out on their own. I knew they needed to learn to long for us. Yet I questioned, “Did we do the right thing?”
I asked the Lord if there was any Scripture to support our decision to tell our kids they had to move out. He didn’t point me to a particular verse but He told me, “I, too, had to kick my children out. It took seventy years, but they eventually came back.”
And now, over ten years later, here’s this verse. God has been faithful to work out this promise for our family. It is true, punishment was necessary. But it’s not the end of the story. God brings His children back—and He’s brought mine back. Only one returned to live at home again but all have been restored to us. All now understand our love. All are parents themselves, caring and providing for their children in ways their own never did.
Sometimes God’s punishment is necessary. But we can “fear not”. Why? Because even when we feel exiled He is always with us. And because His anger is but for a moment. His favor? It’s for a lifetime.
Cheri Johnson is a Work at home writer at Mother of Pearls Blog from St. Paul, Minnesota. She is a mother to five children adopted from Russia, and a grandmother to ten and counting.