#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.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.

Isaiah 43:5

On November 23rd, 2016, the week of Thanksgiving, I received a great blessing from the Lord. Against all odds, my daughter and my grandchild were with my husband and I for our Thanksgiving celebration. This gift was a tender mercy from the Lord, a longing fulfilled that came about suddenly as God made a way for the improbable to happen.

My thirty-something daughter lives out of state. My two-year old grandchild stays with us frequently due to a legal arrangement but we were supposed to return her to her home for Thanksgiving. The possibility that we all would be together on Thanksgiving was nowhere on the horizon. I was accustomed to being blue over the holidays because my daughter and granddaughter live out-of-state and my husband and I have no significant family connections where we live.  I anticipated that once again I would grit my teeth and endure Thanksgiving, without connection with family. I feared the sadness and the guilt that always came upon me. Sadness because I missed my family so much and guilt because I still had so much to be thankful for.

What I did not know was that behind the scenes, God was working to bring my children together for the best holiday celebration I’ve experienced in years. On November 22nd, my daughter called and told me that she’d decided to drive down for the holiday and the very same day, I revived an email indicating that my grandchild could stay with us for Thanksgiving.

And then, God moved again. The very day of Thanksgiving I received a message from Nichole on Facebook. She extended an invitation for me to write a few paragraphs about a scripture that she could use in a blog series. Nichie said, write a “real, raw answer as to what God is trying to say to you through this scripture.”

Here is the scripture she gave me:

Isaiah 43:5

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.

Dear reader, my real raw answer is this:

God in his loving kindness GATHERED MY CHILDREN unto my husband and I to show forth His love and gathering power on Thanksgiving. The scripture I was given had been performed as a Thanksgiving miracle by the Sovereign Lord.

Of course, the verse Isaiah 43:5 relates to the gathering that God purposed to do for His people the Israelites after He delivered them from Egypt, but on Thanksgiving Day, 2016, God delivered the scripture to me as a NOW word of hope. DO NOT BE AFRAID. I AM THE GOD WHO GATHERS.

What God did for us was a demonstration of His gathering power. God is the God of GATHERING and I will not fear. He hears the heart cry of a mother and grandmother on behalf of her family. And He acts.

He hears your cries too and will act on your behalf.

If you are a mother or grandmother who experiences the depression of being separated from your children, stand on the scripture ISAIAH 43:5 and remember God says:

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.


thumbnail_image1 Susan Leigh Franks

Susan Leigh Franks has worked for many years to help the homeless and those who struggle with addition. She writes devotionals, fiction, and poetry in her spare time.  She greatly enjoys being a wife, mother and grandmother. She and her husband live in Alabama.

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