I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. Joel 2:25 NIV
But no one mentioned my birthday. Mama’s busy, I reasoned. She’ll cook my cake while I’m at school. That afternoon I leapt from the school bus and hit the ground running—to fresh disappointment. No word, no smell of baking. Aching with loneliness, I waited outside, near enough to hear her call, far enough to be out of the way.
Supper passed without comment; I choked down the food I had no appetite for. She cleared the table and set us to do our homework. I tried hard, but my mind was on my non-birthday.
“Y’all get ready for bed, now.”
I stood, then she caught my shoulder and stopped me. I held my breath. What had I done? Would I be sent out into the dark to pick a switch for a spanking?
“You never did say anything about it being your birthday.”
I had spoiled her joke! Guilty, I could neither look at her nor answer.
“Well, here’s your present.” She handed it to me and turned away.
My mother taught us of God’s love—but could even God love someone her own mother couldn’t love? No. If I let Him see what was inside me, His anger would be even greater than hers.
And, His power was greater.
I ran from Him. Finally, flushed from my last hiding place, my strength gone, I turned—and found Him waiting, His arms open wide to welcome me.
Years later, with land taken for road improvement, I’d lose young oaks I’d planted, nurtured and loved. I prayed to see their leaves brilliant once more with autumn color, their bare branches white again with snow.
Autumn came, with its bright colors. My trees still stood, but their destruction was imminent.
Eight years old—but this time, I was a child in the family of my heavenly Father. I spent a tranquil day alone with Him, then went out to look at my Southern autumn, snow-covered, birthday-card trees and reflect: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you.”
Avi, thank You. You’ve brought me into Your family and made me a child of Your own heart. You haven’t forgotten me, nor do You ever fail to tell me of Your love. Help me to remember You always. In Your holy name, Amen.