I’ve said before that I really believe God gives us small moments in order to remember His promises. Yes, I also believe in miracles, but in my own life, I have experienced the quiet whisper much more than the parting of any seas.
I’ve written before that Wes has been having to go door to door each Saturday and then to Jehovah’s Witnesses meetings each Sunday for several hours. Even as I write this, I am sitting in Colorado Springs among gorgeous mountains in a tiny wooden cabin. The air smells refreshingly different, the trees stand a little taller and I find myself appreciating God’s desire to change things up in various parts of the world. I love this place, but even as I write this, prepared to be home on Thursday…Wesley’s dad has already told me that Wes will be spending his whole weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at a Jehovah’s Witness Assembly. Granted, his dad only gets the day time hours so I will see Wes each evening, but that means less play time, less time outside and most importantly, no church this weekend. It can leave a mom disheartened and distraught, filled with fear… All things I have mentioned before. They don’t go away, even a year and half into this, it hasn’t gotten even one ounce easier to watch him walk off into a kingdom hall surrounded by people who are adamantly trying to teach the opposite of Truth.
About 2 months ago, I had dinner with my sister in law, Courtney. I had voiced some of my apprehensions in casual conversation and she called to tell me that as she had read her Bible that night, God had brought a story to her mind about Wes.
He was young, 17 years old. His own family betrayed him. The brothers he grew up with, the men he loved and looked up to, the men he had probably laughed with on multiple occasions had become so angry with him that they wanted him gone. They didn’t just need a day off, they wanted him totally removed from the family. So, they sold him. Sold him. SOLD. To be a slave. A SLAVE. As he rode off from his land as a slave in a new land, I’m sure he felt abandoned. Alone. Completely alone. This new country was foreign. He knew no faces and had no friends. He didn’t even speak the same language as the men around him. Yet, as the story continues we see Joseph, not as an older man with much experience, but as a young man with little experience, emerge. When temptation is thrown at him unabashedly, he refuses with strength beyond his years. When he is in jail, he continues to love and praise the Lord. His faith isn’t wavered. Promises from a cupbearer to remember Joseph's gifts of dream interpretation when he returns to the palace are quickly forgotten. His forgiveness overwhelms any bitterness that might have tried to grip his spirit. He is honored by the king and he stays humble, stays righteous, and eventually rescues his whole family from a famine, forgiveness flowing freely. Joseph. He is a godly older man, but he started out as a godly young man. He never forgot his Messiah.
No, my kid hasn't been sold and no, he hasn't been in jail. My kid is 6. But for some reason, God has allowed Wes, for this time, to be inside a very dark world. He is surrounded by a “country” he doesn’t know. The main language spoken is Spanish, which he doesn’t understand and he is completely alone in his small knowledge of Truth. Not one other person knows the Lord in this community that he is quickly getting to know. In fact they make an adamant stand against the Savior that he knows as Jesus.
I began talking to Wesley about this story. Through the tears of not wanting to go to field service or to the meetings, we would talk about Joseph’s strength, how he was alone too, how he was the only one in a really dark world, but he stood firm, he resisted evil, he forgave and he always remembered his God. We talked about the similarities between Joseph’s situation and his own. We also talked about how it probably wasn’t fun for Joseph to be in jail or to be in a dark world all alone, but God allowed it, so just like Joseph remembered and trusted God, we will too. We will trust that God is working in this awful situation and we will at some point, see victory rise up within the valley.
These talks had been going on all through out the day. He always seemed to listen, but I wasn’t sure what was sinking in.
Then one morning, I wasn’t feeling the promise of the Word in my heart. I was way down in my flesh. Like, way down. His dad arrived to pick him up. I was angry, fearful, worn out, and tired of watching my kid have to do this. I didn’t have it in me to be nice…so I wasn’t. I was saying goodbye to Wes and his dad said, “Come on Wes, we are going to be late to the meeting.” That was it. That one small phrase wrecked my already distressed spirit. There was nothing that could cover my frustration. I snapped, “Are you freaking serious? This is so ridiculous that you keep taking my kid to that place. It’s awful. This whole thing is awful. ” Wes looked over at me a bit taken back. I looked at him with a few small tears in my eyes. I don’t know if he saw them. I sat down with fury stretched across my face. He walked back over to me, hugged me and then in a soft voice so that his dad wouldn’t hear, he whispered, “Don’t worry mom. I’ll be Joseph.”
I hugged him tighter.
I prayed that he would indeed remember all we had talked about. Let him remember who he is and Who he belongs to. Let him remember Truth. Let him remember Your promises. In this darkness, let him remember You. Let him be the one small light that shines radiantly among the shadows of evil he is having to walk through at the tender age of six. Let me remember this moment… A moment that You have graciously given me that reminds me You are always in this with us. Thank you.