Can they do without them? Yes, they can. They never take them into the meetinghouse, or into a restaurant, and especially not to school. Their primary function is as bedtime buddies. However, should they become frightened or upset, guess who they look for? Guess what they ask for? When the tears start, guess what Mommy and Daddy start scouring the house for? Once they are found, the relief is instant. No more crying. No more fear. No more worries about what lies ahead. They have their buddies, and they are just fine. They will even tolerate being left with a babysitter or taken two plus hours north to Grandma’s house for several days without Mom and Dad as long as those buddies are with them.
At the risk of sounding irreverent, isn’t that how God and our Lord should be to us? Shouldn’t we recognize their presence every day, in fact, plead for their presence in our lives and be grateful for it? When things go awry, as they will sooner or later in everyone’s life, shouldn’t they be the ones we look for? And once we are assured of their presence, shouldn’t the relief be instant? Isn’t that what faith is all about?
Hannah could not have children, it seemed, the great longing of every Hebrew woman. In addition her rival wife “provoked her” constantly. She was “in great bitterness” and “wept sorely” (1 Sam 1:10). What did she do? She went to God and prayed her heart out. “I poured out my soul before Jehovah,” she told Samuel (v 15). And what happened afterward? “Her countenance was no longer sad (v 18).
What do you do when a crisis rears its ugly head? What do you rely on? Who do you count on? What calms your fears and dispels your worries? Hannah knew who her real Buddy was, and He calmed her as no one else could. If your “buddies” are anyone or anything besides your Father and Older Brother and your Comforting Helper, you will be sorely disappointed in the results.
Those little boys will go anywhere as long as they have their buddies. We sing a song, “If Jesus goes with me, I’ll go—anywhere.” Can you?
I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence, Ps 140:12-13.