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Merry Memory #4
The Little Bed
It was Christmas Eve. The loving Father was putting the final touches on the little cherry rope bed. It was the young carpenter’s best work to date. He had chosen his best cherry wood. He had planed, measured, and cut it. He had cut the little bed’s tongue-and-groove joints with precision. The finish was a mixture of boiled linseed oil and pumice stone. The three little stairs that she would climb up and down hundreds of times to reach the bed, and the little trundle he had built to match were all finished, at last. He called his wife and they strung the heavy braided sisal rope through the finished holes that he had drilled in just the right places. The mother and father tugged and tied the ropes as tightly as they could, remarking about the origin of the phrase “Sleep tight.” He watched as she outfitted the little bed with sheets and a pillow and then she placed the sunbonnet girl quilt that had been begun by the baby’s great grandmother and finished by her mother on the sweet little bed.
It was almost midnight and the little blond haired, blue-eyed girl had long since been sleeping in her crib in the other corner of the room. So sound asleep, in fact, was she, that she didn’t even stir during the assembly, the roping or the making of the little bed. She slept soundly as the loving father picked her up from the crib and laid her gently in what she would later term “the big-girl bed” where she would sleep from that night until the night when the father would walk her down the aisle and give her to another who would love her and provide a new place for her to sleep. That wedding night, at the time, seemed so very distant. All the same, the father knew he was providing a resting place for the times the little girl would be sick, the times she would giggle all night with the twins or the cousins who would come spend the night in the little trundle, the times she would be propped up in the little bed studying for an exam, the many phone conversations that she would have while lying there and the few times the pillow would be dampened with her tears, when she was heartbroken by a beau or disappointed by some friend. He didn’t like to think about any hurt coming to the little girl, but he knew times of pain were inevitable. He knew that, one day when she lived far from that little room, her memories of home would include the prayers that were offered from that little bedside and the stories from the Good Book that were told in that sweet place. The father made the bed so he could lay her in it on Christmas Eve and see the light in her eyes on Christmas morning. But he knew, too, that He was providing a place for her future and maybe even for the future of those to whom she would one day give birth.
We have a loving Father who provides for His children with every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). He has made for us, in Christ, a place of rest (Matthew 11:28). He has placed us there for our security now; for our protection in the darkness of this world. He knows about the times of rejoicing and weeping. He knows about the people who will disappoint us. He knows about the battles in which the devil will engage us. He knows about the trials of sickness, and heartache and failure in this life. But, in the provision, He has abundantly prepared for our future. What he has built for us is all we need now; but His eye, even in the building, is on heaven. He knows there will be one night when you and I will cross the chilly waters of Jordan and reach the timeless side of eternity. We will be far removed from the troubles of the world and the new rest will be beyond our imaginations. It will be eternal (John 14:13). The loving Father has already provided what we need for all of eternity. That’s the great providence (provide-ence) of our great Father.
It is interesting to notice that in I Timothy 5:8, which speaks about the responsibility of an earthly father to “provide for his own”, the Greek word for provide, “pronoeo”, means to “look out for beforehand” or “to consider in advance”. I am thankful to be married to a the kind of man who made that little bed and who made so many more important provisions and weighty decisions in view of the future of our children. Most of all, I am unspeakably thankful to be the child of the heavenly Father, who has considered, in advance, my everlasting well-being and has provided my place of rest for this life and for eternity!