When I’m Not There, God is
By Glynnis Whitwer

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11 (NIV)

I watched the weather report with heightened concern. A winter snowstorm in the White Mountains was normally great news. It meant the ski lifts would soon be open and that our dry state would benefit from moisture. Today, however, it had a more ominous meaning, for my son Dylan was in the path of the storm.

Dylan and his high school wrestling team had been at a tournament in the mountains for a few days. They were due to be leaving soon, and my concern turned to dread as I pictured those desert dwellers trying to navigate through a snowstorm. My panicked mind reviewed all the horror stories of school sports teams, in vans or buses, going off the road. As I imagined the curving Mogollon Rim road with blinding snow, my heart started to pound.

The ringing of the phone jarred me from my unhealthy thoughts, and I heard my son’s voice on the other end. “Mom,” he said. “We’re leaving right now to try and beat the storm.” I breathed a prayer of thanks for those coaches who cared more about the kids’ safety than finishing the tournament, but continued my worry.

Never before had I experienced such a longing to have my son safe in my arms. But that wasn’t possible. Dylan had to make that journey home in the care of others. Thankfully, in the midst of that worry, God reminded me that Dylan wasn’t just in the care of those coaches, but that He was watching over Dylan.

I’ve struggled with this issue of worry over my children’s safety since they were born. Because of my tendency to worry, I have the potential to be over-protective. However, years ago, God revealed to me that my fears were born more out of my lack of trust than a healthy concern. The truth was I believed my children were only safe when they were in my care. The reality of this fallen world is my children are only safe in the care of God.

As school starts, and many children head off to classes, sports and clubs, many of us will deal with anxiety over their safety. Instead of being overcome with worry, I’ve learned to identify the worries that come when I’ve misplaced my trust. It prompts me to pray more, trust more, and enjoy more of life with my children. By the way, my son and his wrestling team made it home safely that day. We’ll be gearing up for more out of town matches in a month or two, and I’ll be increasing my prayers.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for caring for my children even more than I do. Thank You for hearing my prayers, and for protecting my children. Help me to learn to trust You more, and to pray more about even the smallest details of their lives. I want to be a mother who trusts You, the true source of all help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources
Do You Know Jesus?

The Character of God: Understanding His Heart for Us by Brian T. Anderson and Glynnis Whitwer

Traveling Light by Max Lucado

Visit Glynnis Whitwer’s blog

Application Steps
Make a list of the times when you are most concerned for your child’s safety. Commit to praying every day for a week regarding these specific needs. Hopefully this will jump start a pattern of consistent prayer. If you aren’t currently parenting a child at home, identify a child you know and pray for him or her.

Why is it important for a parent (or any adult) to pray for children?

According to Psalm 91, from what does God protect His people?

Power Verses
Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (NIV)

Psalm 4:8, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (NIV)

Matthew 18:10, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The truth was I believed my children were only safe when they were in my care. The reality of this fallen world is my children are only safe in the care of God."

These words could have been written by me. I have thought them since the birth of our first child and the subsequent birth of grandchildren that we helped rear. My lack of trust in God to care for them when I was not around, crippled me emotionally and my worries took too much time out of each day, so much so that I didn't have time to enjoy all the blessings that God placed before me.

Thankfully, even at age 60, I continue to learn to trust God who loves each of us even more than I love. That love amazes me and comforts me.

I still fail at this at times. It seems that God isn't through with the construction process yet. I am still under construction and hopefully, I will be as Ruth Graham, Billy Graham's wife, who during her later years saw a sign on the road that said: "End of construction. Thank you for your patience." She asked that those words be placed on her tombstone and they were.

Thank you, Jesus, for your patience and your unending and all consuming love for me and those I love..........

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me that
God has it all under comtrol. I also worry about my children and grandchildren. I have thought that I am the only one that can keep them safe. Not realizing that it was a lack of trust in my Lord.
Again, thank you and thank the Lord for giving you such insight.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you for these words. I continue to do alot of worrying over my 3 children, one of whom is in his last teenage year. I have told God that I have turned them over to him. As you say, however, we still worry. My friend and co-worker lost her 21 year old son this past weekend in a tragic sky diving accident. It's times like these that we have to stay faithful to God and know that he has a plan. My heart aches for her. I know that I still am going to worry but I trust God and know that my children are in his care.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I will lie down and sleep in peace. For You alone, oh LORD make me dwell in safety." That verse has meant alot to me the past few months. I came upon it not too long ago and when I wake up afraid, I recite that verse and am able to go peacefully back to sleep. My 4 1/2 girl will sometimes be scared at night and I have recited that verse to her and she is able to go to sleep, knowing that GOD is keeping her safe and giving her peace. What powerful verses! It is really neat when you can use verses like these to minister to your children. I have a 2 1/2 week old girl now also, and I will definitely recite to her verses also. It really drives home the fact that we need to know HIS Word so we can recite verses to others and give them hope! Thanks for the reminder to pray for our children. I often worry about my girls and their health and safety. I worried all through my pregnancies about their health and GOD has taken care of both of them SO well! We really can trust HIM!

Blogger Cheryl Barker said...

Glynnis, you've touched on a problem common to all mothers, I'm sure. What rest there is in placing our loved ones in God's hands!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this devotion, and I'd like to add just a thought of encouragement of my own as well. While I am human and do worry about my children from time to time, God has really blessed me with the ability to see their challenges/dangers as an opportunity for growth in their own lives-- something God can't give them if I protect them too much. I'm excited to see how God will shape them through their experiences-- knowing that their mother's love and prayers are always present.

Blogger Sarah said...

Dearest Glynnis,
You do not know me, but you wrote this devotional especially for me this morning =]. I live in SC but was born and raised in Arizona's White Mountains (Eagar) so I can fully visualize the weather and road conditions that you speak of. This past year has been a very eventful one for us. After having a miscarriage, my husband were blessed with another pregnancy even though we were heeding all the Dr's suggestions to wait three months before trying again. Three months after the D & C I began to hemmorage without warning. After it happened three times, I finally went to the Dr. convinced that I must have gotten pregnant and was miscarrying again. I had made up my mind that I was going to have my tubes tied. I was already blessed with two beautiful children but despite my desire for another, I thought that God must be telling me that I was done having babies. At the ultrasound, they informed me that I had indeed gotten pregnant but the baby was alive and the hemmoraging was from a cyst that would most likely resolve itself. They informed me that even though I had experienced a miscarriage in the past, It was not going to be considered a high risk pregnancy at this point. My husband and I were estatic and made the decision that we were going to treat the pregnancy as a high risk one anyways - just to be sure that our little one made it here safely. We took our older two children out of many of their activities and began to stay at home more and try to do as much bed rest as possible. During my fourth month of pregnancy, the Lord sent my sister our way. She had just finished college and wanted something new for her life. She decided to leave all her friends and family and move out to SC to be with us. I had always been extremely fearful of leaving my older two with anyone. Never with a babysitter and rarely with family. My biggest fear was realized when my water broke one month later. I was 23 1/2 weeks pregnant. My husband rushed me to the nearest hospital where they told me that there was not much hope for the baby and that I was most likely going to have to experience a very risky C - section. A nurse came in and prayed with me that the Dr. would decide to have me transported to the nearest hospital that had a NICU where the baby might have at least a grain of hope since the hospital we were at simply would not be capable of treating the baby if it were born alive. As soon as she said the word "Amen" - a nurse ran in and said "Get her ready to be transported. (Thank you Lord). Once they moved me to the new hospital, they too informed me that the chances for the baby were very, very slim. Infact that if it decided to come in the next three days (before it was 24 weeks gestationally) they would not treat it. I was hospitalized and for the sake of our pregnancy the best case scenario would be for four months - a very long time to be away from my older two who I had never been away from for more than 3 hours at a time. The Lord gave me peace by reminding me that my sister had been given a months "training" on how we like our children to be cared for. God got all of us through having to be hospitalized for a week and then having to leave my children quite frequently while we visited their baby brother in intensive care for 15 weeks. Levi was born four days after my water broke weighing only 1 pound 9.2 ounces. He is perfect and weighs 17 pounds today. Once again, I am having to leave my children in the care of someone else while I go to Dr. appts. Today happens to be one such morning. I am being tested for Celiac Disease which is what may have contributed to my pregnancy complications as well as my older children's health issues. Thank you for your timely message reminding me that they are in God's care at all times.
Please feel free to visit our story at:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I sure needed to read today devotion. I too worry about my two daughters who are both 25 & 21 and married. I believed (and still believe at times) that they were only safe when they were (are) in my care. Even though they have wonderful husbands I still feel that I can help and protect them. I am constently praying for God intervension on their lives and try to let God do the caring,but I alway but in with God. My daughter and her husband are on vacation in Hawaii right now, and I'm still telling my daughter "don't do this, becareful doing that" and she will lovingly and gently tell me, "I know mom, I'll be careful", I'm a grown woman now mom" and "I love you". hahaha, she is so patient with me. So I will pray for me to give it all to God and let HIM do the main stuff. I'll just continue to love the children God gave to me.... for after all they are HIS. Thank you Lord for your two daughters.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this devotion the day before sending my daughter to England to study for three months. You don't know how encouraging and reassuring it was to my heart. It was like a wink from Heaven. He really does have it all in His hands - and He took the time to remind me through this devotion.
God bless you for speaking these words of truth today!

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