GUEST POST: By Danice Burdett
for all of them are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21
Three years ago, God moved my husband and our two boys from our home state of California, across the country to Illinois. We never planned on leaving California for any reason. Everything comfortable and familiar to us was there…family, friends, church community, not to mention the fabulous weather! As my husband began searching for graduate programs to pursue his doctorate in Music Education, we knocked on every door available to him locally that would prevent us from moving away from it all, to no avail.
You may have heard it said, “When God closes one door, he opens another.” God kept those local doors locked, and then opened another wide open. The only problem is that this door led us across the country to a state we’d never been to before.
In the midst of spending weeks in prayer about this opportunity, we found out we would be adding a third child to our family in the winter! We wondered for a moment if this growing little life was reason to stay where everything was familiar; where family and friends would be near to help us raise our growing family. Even as the reasons to stay began to stack up before us, the Lord gave us a deep sense of peace that we were to go. The peace we felt did not come because we were void of questions. We said “yes” to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit who beckoned us to believe God when He said he had a plan for us, and to trust Him in going even without all of our questions answered.
As we prepared to go, the warnings we heard most often from our California community, centered around the cold weather and frigid temperatures we’d endure in the harsh Illinois winters before us. Up to this point in our lives, California winters would come and the only changes we made involved carrying an umbrella in the car in case of rain and throwing on a heavier jacket as we left the house in the morning.
As a mother, the instinct to protect my children beats strong inside of me. When we left California, the echos of warnings about the cold winters followed us. I made sure my children had winter coats, my grandmother sent down comforters for both the boys, while my mom sewed beautiful quilts to cover their beds at night to keep them warm. It was not only my desire but the desire of generations before me that we did not “fear the winter.”
Some commentaries suggest that the scarlet mentioned in Proverbs 31:21 doesn’t have to necessarily mean the color red. It could also mean “a double layer.” We were certainly prepared with “double layers” for the cold winter ahead. We were prepared, in every tangible way we knew how. What we couldn’t prepare for, however, was what we encountered when we arrived…
Within the first week of our move, my oldest son had an emergency appendectomy after a week of high fevers and stomach pain. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the moment I had to watch my three year old son wheeled away into surgery surrounded by people who he didn’t know.
A few weeks later, we found out through a serious of tests that our 13 month old son was profoundly deaf in both ears. Our suspicions about him having trouble with his hearing were true. Since his hearing was not tested at birth, which is now a routine procedure, this was the first we’d heard of his deafness. We were devastated at the news. Weeks went by, however, and God in His grace brought incredible hope in the form of a miraculous technology. We found out our son could be a candidate to receive cochlear implants. Once implanted, he would be able to hear and learn to speak! Not only would he be brought into the world of sound, but the therapists and teachers that could help him develop his speech and hearing were all within 10 miles of our new home in Illinois. God truly is a God of miracles!
Two weeks after my son, Cole heard his first sounds with his new “ears,” my daughter was born in the same hospital my boys had their life-changing surgeries. Oh, but God wasn’t finished yet! Nineteen months later, He gave us another beautiful daughter born in the same hospital. We left California a family of four, thinking we were going for my husband to earn a degree, and are returning this summer a family of six who has each been deeply transformed through our journey of obedience to God’s call to go.
The woman in Proverbs 31 was a mother who did not fear for her children for all of them were clothed in a double layer. I am not a bible scholar, but I am a passionate believer in Jesus Christ and a lover of His Word. If I could, I would shout from the rooftops so that every mother could hear this truth I believe so firmly in…
We can make every attempt under the sun to protect and prepare our children from the uncomfortable things in this life. The world we live in is fallen and everywhere we turn there seems to be something else to shield them from. The most beautiful picture I see when I asked God to give me His eyes for this passage in Proverbs, is a combination of many translations.
I see a mother, who knows her God well. She must, in order to place her children in the hands of the One who made them. She covers them in the double-layer of love and grace available to her children through the scarlet blood of her Savior, Jesus. She does this without fear, but in confidence, knowing that the One who created them, also gave His life so that they may live. There is no greater gift she can give them, than to clothe them in the truth from His Word that leads to the greatest source of security available to mankind.
I’ve now learned as a mother of four, that I will not be able to stop the snow and ice from entering the lives of my children. The storms of life will come. Some will bring wind and rain, and during colder seasons-snow and even ice storms will rage. My times of deepest security and peace have been experienced while holding my child’s hand in the midst of the storm while we watched in amazement as Jesus walked on the waves. The waves would rise, and moments would come when I thought I’d lose sight of my Savior and was certain the ship would sink. But then, in the midst of the howling wind, I could hear a still small voice calling us out of the boat and onto the waves with Him.
Like the Proverbs 31 mother, my highest desire is that my children are clothed in the scarlet security of Christ and, out of a life lived walking on the waves with Jesus, say, “Though it may not be well with my circumstance, it is well with my soul.”
Before she was a mother, Danice was a recording session singer, elementary school teacher, and children’s church director. Now she loves to use every opportunity to share about her journey as a wife, mother of four (ages 5 and under!), and child of the living God, through her blog at www.theburdettjourney.blogspot.com. She can be reached through her blog for questions, writing spots and guest speaking engagements.