4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
There is an old phrase, “A stitch in time saves nine.” I’ve been led to understand it meaning if you can mend a seam soon enough, you will prevent your clothes from ripping to a worse degree in the future. In essence you are fixing a problem before it happens. It is “maintenance prevents catastrophe.” We apply this old advice here at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch with both our employees and our clients.
When new employees are brought on they are put through a rigorous amount of training. They sit through several days of information and demonstration. We orient them to the history of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, teach them first-aid, CPR, defensive driving, medication certification, and even the non-violent crisis intervention techniques that can become necessary when working with youth who are in risk of hurting themselves or others. We teach our employees A LOT up front. The idea is to prepare them for any situation in which they may find themselves because a stitch in time saves nine.
We do the same for our residents. We try to establish coping skills for them immediately. We get them to the doctor as soon as we are able. We get them involved in school and therapy and groups almost as soon as they are on campus. We do this because we want them to have the tools necessary to avoid high-risk events. We try to foster the needed care to make sure we are not causing more trauma than they have already experienced. We want them to be ready for the anxiety and stress that may come as they work through their treatment programs and as they interact with other at-risk youth who are facing struggles and pressures of their own. We provide preventative care because a stitch in time saves nine.
We do a lot of things with specific timing at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. We plan training and education early to be prepared for, and to try to prevent, potentially risky situations. Our timing however is still imperfect. Trauma still happens. There are still situations we are not prepared for. Clients still act out or relapse. Sometimes our stitch cannot prevent a tear. That is why God has done something for us far beyond our attempts at preparedness. Two thousand years ago, when the timing was perfect, God sent his Son, Jesus, to enter our world and die for us. Out of his great love for us, Christ gave up his life as a sacrifice for our imperfection. To cover our sins, to forgive our wrongs, to make up for our mistakes, Jesus stretched out his arms and died on the cross. This happened once, for all time, to take away all the sins of the world. He saved us from the riskiest situation of all: an eternity in hell.
A stitch in time may save nine, but a cross at the perfect time saved the world.
Let us Pray
Dear Lord, your timing is perfect. When the time was right you sent your Son to die for us. Your actions have taken care of us for eternity. As we wait to join you in paradise please help us not to fret or worry about the things in our lives that we cannot control. Lead us to be confident in our abilities and guide us to be prepared for the inevitable. In our efforts to help and serve those around us, provide us with compassion and grace that we may be ready to approach all things with the loving kindness of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
About the author
Rev. Rick Jones is the Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. He write a daily devotion for staff members and emails it to them every weekday. If you are interested in receiving the daily devotion, email Chaplain Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.