Left Behind

I saw the expression on my youngest son's face as the last of his older siblings packed to leave for college. Saying "goodbye" to his sister was going to be very difficult. As the remaining two children left at home in our homeschooling family, they had shared so much together, but our family was transitioning once again. My son was starting to realize that with all his classmates gone, he would have to homeschool alone.

Being the last child to leave a homeschool family is probably more difficult than being the first. Although the benefits of receiving one-on-one instruction, more curriculum, and additional extracurricular options seem desirable, the last child also assumes the negative aspects of homeschooling alone — all the chores, the experienced, watchful eye of parents, and the lack of the "family fan club" at games and activities in which they are involved. Separation from homeschool siblings can add to a sense of isolation and loneliness, or it can propel the youngest child to grow in his walk with the Lord.

David was the youngest brother in his family. He, too, probably watched as each of his three older brothers left to fight in the war against the Philistines. He probably felt the family transitioning pains and bore more responsibility as he cared for his father's flocks of sheep. Fortunately, the years of being schooled by God alone, where he faced the dangers of lions, bears, and a cursing giant (1 Samuel 17), prepared him adequately to become king.

Whom do you run to when life gets tough and you need help? Although spouses, parents, and extended family are great resources to find encouragement and strength, the first place we should turn is into the arms of our loving God. With His perspective, strength, and guidance, we can face whatever comes into our life and accomplish His perfect will. After all, life changes in a blink, and sometimes the family we love and depend on will not be there. Go to prayer in God's school and let Him teach you lessons on following Him and being His disciple. "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:37-38).

Jesus, I know I've been depending too much on my family for the help and answers I should be seeking from You. Today, I come to You in prayer to seek Your perfect will for the decisions I need to make. Help me to follow You alone. In Your name, Amen.

Comments(21 comments)


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JOY C 10/27/2009 02:34:08

I love these devotionals....not just warm fuzzies, but sometimes really convicting like truth should be.

ELISHA H 10/27/2009 02:44:17

Thank you as always, for the words of encouragement. I believe that the Lord is calling to my heart and desires for me to yield to Him without compromise. Thank you for listening to the Lord and laying on the table what you believe the Lord desires to serve for this particular meal. Make me more like you Lord and less like me, Praise You, Father God!!! EDH

MISTY O 10/27/2009 11:34:38

I have really being enjoying these devotionals since I subscribed. This one was especially touching and just what God wanted me to read today. Thank you all!

BETH A 10/27/2010 04:52:29

These daily reminders encourage me from many stand points.

ANGELICA W 10/27/2010 06:55:46

These devotionals really help me thru my day. Sometimes I will share them w my oldest daughter and it is a comfort to her. Then after we read them we get out the bible and discuss it together. It helps both of us to know god is there and he really does care in all ways possible.

DEBBY K 10/27/2010 07:26:11

I am very disappointed that I have to click to the website for the "rest of the story" so to speak. Many people have commented about this and it is still being done. It is causing me to not even bother to look at them most days as I don't have the time to wait for it to load the new page. And if I were using a mobile device, it would be even more difficult. Thank you for your time.

CHRISTINE K 10/27/2010 08:54:48

Enjoyed this one! Very refreshing after yesterday's. Thank you!

HOLLY T 10/27/2010 10:50:06

Most days I really appreciate these devotionals and I also don't care about clicking to read the rest of the story. It's annoying. Not complaining, just would like it back to what it was before. Sometimes newer is not always better!

AMY K 10/28/2010 23:20:30

I too really enjoy your devotions. They are always inspirational and convicting.

OLIVIA S 10/29/2010 17:44:11

Wow this devotion really convicted me. I depend to much on my grandma, I go to her most of the time, when I supposed to go my Lord and Savior. I noticed sometimes we end up being mad at each other because of differences, we spend almost the whole day with each other and you what happens, of course you tend to argue on something, I know sounds funny, but sometimes she says hurtful things and I\'m sensitive, well she does it a lot of times and so this is it,, I think I\'d go to someone who knows I\'m sensitive, and wont argue with me..lol. But I do love my grandma I just need to be wise to go to God first all the time! =)

SARAH M 10/27/2011 08:00:22

Maybe it is the e-mail program that does not show the whole story? I only have to click if I want to read full comments, but I can see the whole story right in the e-mail body.

JESSICA C 10/27/2011 09:25:30

Oh boy, The Lord convicted me on this verse! Lord help me pick up my cross!! I want to witness to my grandmother who has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Time is precious, but I am afraid to say anything to her. Lord help my fear! When I think I can march over there and tell her about the Lord, I see her face and know she is much older and seen so much more then I have. Please help me Lord to pick that cross up and do some good for you and her!!

TIGRIS G 10/27/2011 11:43:56

In John 14:18 it says \"I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. Therefore, I draw comfort in what John says.

JULIE B 10/28/2011 18:32:48

Debby K. ...Try www.flylady.net It is an encouraging website that is meant just for us women(-: She lets you know that you always have \"time\" to do what you want, it is just a mindset and she really encourages us to be positive. I believe she has helped me be more focused and positive and she strives to give us wisdom, as God would see it given. Happy Day!

AUDRA K 10/27/2012 07:50:39

Thank u for this devotional. it always helps me refocus on whats important. p.s. I love flylady.net too.

BOBBIE H 10/27/2012 09:01:35

Very great devotion that I too needed to read. It has been on my heart & this is just validation that I need to make sure to heed what He is speaking to me. Thank you. To the comments about having to load in a new page... Not to sound bad or judgmental, but do we not have an extra spare minute to have it load on our computer? Does not God spend enough time waiting on us? We are such an impatient people today who don\'t want to wait on anything, when we should have more patience & I speak of myself as well. How fortunate and spoiled to live where we have access to computers in one way or another. How much time do we waste on other less important things, but can complain to a having to open a new browser & wait for it to load. Wow! We should all take a step back & do less complaining & be grateful we can load another page to read a encouraging devotion that God has for us.

CARRIE W 10/27/2012 13:15:38

Okay, so I\'m not a homeschool mom ... in fact, I\'m not a MOM at all! I order the curriculum for a homeschool mom in Uganda, Africa, so I get these daily emails, and I LOVE them! They are always convicting and \"right on time,\" so to speak ... so, thank you for such a great daily devo ... you have a huge fan in me!

KATHY S 10/27/2012 15:25:07

I have always been one to depend on \"Me\". The Lord has been working on me now for the last 14 years and I think he want\'s me to depend on him and accept help from my family. I\'m a hard one to break so I guess I had to be taken all the way down to rock bottom to \"get it\". Also, the Lord is now trying to teach my to accept help from the wonderful ladies in our church. As things have happened, I never want to accept help from anyone but maybe my Mom or brother. My Mom being 75 now will not be here forever. I pray that it is a long time she is with me, but I believe God is preparing me with \"my new church family\", as I am a single disabled Mom with a special needs child, I do need heklp, frequently, I was alwasy used to just doing everything myself, as my health has gotten worse and worse, and my strength within myself has diminished somewhat, it\'s time for me to learn to trust others in Gods family and accept help that is offered. Thank you for this wonderful devotional, it really made me think.

SHEILA MOSLEY 10/27/2013 12:34:13

Thank you. This encouraged and challenged me so much.

Michelle Emmitt 10/28/2013 00:53:19

I'm not usually one to leave a comment. I appreciate these so much, but today's hit very close to home. We completed our 3+year adoption on Friday. What should be an exciting time has been overwhelming and sad for me because my Mom passed away a few years ago and won't be here to help and encourage me through this. Our new son is highly special-needs, and I'm doing a lot of dying to my dreams of what our future would be. I've been questioning God as to why He would not allow me to have my Mom around for this - she was my cheerleader and the one who would have said, "We're going to get through this." I realized this morning that I would have been dependent upon her, and I need to be dependent upon the Lord. HE is my source of strength. I no longer have anything else to rely on. This "daily focus" reinforced what God was showing me this morning. Thank you.

Rochelle Runyon 10/28/2013 15:50:58

We have two students commuting to community college and one left at home. The other lives in a nearby town. It is definitely a time of transition. I just would like to make a simple correction to the comment about David's brothers, for accuracy's sake. I Samuel 17:12a says, "Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-Judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons...." It is confusing because only three older sons are named (Eliab in 16:6, Abinadab in 16:8, and Shammah in 16:9), then in 16:10a it says, "Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel....", but that is repeating the three already named along with four who remain unnamed, as evidenced by 17:12 above.

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