Harder Family

Harder Family

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who has shown our family love and support. We've been humbled by everything that people have done for us and the outpouring has stunned us. We are at a loss of how to even properly thank everyone. So, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

This morning during devotions for school, we studied the name Jehovah-Shammah (The Lord is There) in our Bible study book "God's Names". God's timing every step along this journey has been astounding. I've never doubted His existence, but seeing His hand on our lives has only solidified my belief in what an awesome God we serve. Last night I was preparing for the song I'm going to sing at church on Sunday, God gave me the verse Psalm 139:7-10 "Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, Your right hand shall hold me." God was reminding me that He is going to be with me through this whole journey.

Fast forward to this morning and our devotions, and here is what it said: "El Roi, the God Who Sees, understands that it is hard to be alone sometimes-especially when we are afraid or sad. El Roi saw the Hebrew people in Egypt. He saw that they were slaves and Pharaoh treated them wrongly. He understood their pain...If you are a child of God, God is with you wherever you go, too. No matter where you are, even when you think you are alone, God is still with you. He is with you in the dark, and in a new place. He is with His children when they are sad and when they are happy. He does not leave them when they do something wrong. He helps them do what is right. Jehovah-Shammah is there with His people all the time. There is nowhere we can go that He does not go with us...God is everywhere with His people, because He loves them. Psalm 139:7-10...Thank you, God, for being Jehovah-Shammah, the God Who Is There. Thank You for never leaving us-anywhere, anytime, for any reason. You are good and You are faithful. Help me to trust and love You."

Wow! How powerful is that? The very thing that God was teaching me last night, He reaffirmed this morning when I was teaching the girls. I love how His timing has been perfect. This Bible study has been wonderful to work through with the girls. What better way for them to understand things that are hard to comprehend then to know and study the One who holds our future in His hands? One of the girls asked on Sunday why their dad has cancer. Another sister chimed in, "God has a perfect plan. He allowed Papa to have cancer for a reason. If God wants Papa to get better, He can heal him. If not, then Papa gets to go to heaven. Either way, God is good and will be glorified." Oh, the faith of a child!! 

I am so thankful to have a Savior who cares so intimately for me. He knows the future and He has been preparing us and caring for us each step of the way. What could be better then to have the Creator (Elohim) and Sustainer of all things walking beside me on this journey? I find it fascinating that God laid it on my heart to have us memorize Isaiah 40:9-31 as part of Bible class earlier this year. How can you worry about life when you understand the God that loves us? Just listen to these words:

"Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and His arm rules for Him; behold, His reward is with him, and His recompense before Him. He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows Him His counsel? Whom did He consult, and who made Him understand? Who taught Him the path of justice, and taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, He takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are accounted by Him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with Him? An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; He seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move. Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning?Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when He blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of His might, and because He is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God'? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:9-31

Isn't that phenomenal? He holds the water in the hollows of His hands, He marks off the heavens with a span, and nations are as dust to Him. Despite all of this power and majesty, He gently tends us like a shepherd and cares deeply for us, so much so that He sent His Son to die for our sins in our rightful place. It reminds me of this verse: Psalm 8:3-5 "When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of himand the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor." I'm in awe of how wonderful God is. Although this journey hasn't been one I would have chosen, I am enjoying seeing God's hand and His compassion for me as I walk along this path. I am sure in the days ahead, He'll have to carry me at times or gently prod me to keep going, but I know that He is my Jehovah-Shammah and will be with me every step of the way.


  1. Remember my orange jacket story? I can't wait to hear your stories of how God provides and meets your needs.

  2. What a beautiful and precious reminder of who God is and how He loves us. I pray fervently that you will both be strengthened during this time of trial and that you will draw so close to God. So amazing to hear your little one speak such truth about why her daddy has cancer. You and Wayne are leading your little ones to know and love the one, true God. There is nothing better or more important than that. Love you all so much!!

  3. Mr. Wayne and Mrs. Rebecca,
    I want to let you know how heartbroken I was at hearing about what has recently taken place in your lives. I have been so challenged by your blog, and at the same time it has been encouraging to see your victorious faith in the midst of suffering. I am praying for you and your family, that God will continue to overshadow you with His peace and use your lives for His glory.
    -Daniela Oakley