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While They Find Their Way

While They Find Their Way

A friend of mine called today. She was asking for more specific prayer for her children. I so understood why she was calling. I have many people I pray for every day. The list is long and seems to get only longer as time passes on. When there is a crisis I pray very specifically for the needs and pray more diligently throughout the day. When things seem to be coasting along I basically just mention their name in general asking for God’s blessing and direction and protection.

As parents we have our children go through so many stages in their life. I know that I certainly went through many stages of faith before God truly grabbed my heart and converted my life. As a parent, though, I don’t want my sons to go through any of those things that I went through, especially not my stages of rebellion (mild, for the most part) or my college days of poor choices and less than exemplary life style. As a Christian parent, who has reared her children on a day to day basis to know the statues of the Lord, to know scripture and biblical principles as well as how they apply in real life situations, I expect my children to escape a few of the mistakes and pitfalls that befell me.

My friend expressed that there were some thoughts, attitudes, and words going on in her daughter’s life that she felt just weren’t consistent with what she hoped a Christian daughter would be expressing. I smiled to myself. Being a little further from the situation and not as emotionally involved I immediately thought of all the mistakes I had made, the wrong thinking I went through before God grabbed me and turned me around. I know what she is feeling. I wouldn’t want any of my sons having wrong thoughts either. I know for a fact, though, that they have them. I have been personally privy to a few. It is a scary thing. You just want to keep your children from the pain of wrong choices. I have come to realize though that it isn’t always up to me, and it might just not be the way that God has chosen for them.

I was, of course, given the grace to fail, sin, and sin badly before God came into my life in a way that put Him first. If my past mistakes make me love Him more and were allowed in order to make my faith real, to make God’s grace something to truly be grasped, then who am I to say that His way wasn’t a good way? The Bible tells us that he who is forgiven much loves much. And I know that because of what He allowed I have been able to just recently minister to a young person in my life. I could relate to her because I could say that I had done the things she was doing and found that they just didn’t meet my needs and that only Jesus did. As parents, we would like our children to grasp a hold of God’s grace and love just because they have been told. We want them to NOT make mistakes of any kind let alone big ones or painful ones or, God forbid, life altering ones! It isn’t something that I pray for! Yet, it is by experiencing God’s grace that one comes to understand it best.

And I pray daily for my sons’ faith to be real and living and active and vital to their day to day life! I know that God will answer that prayer in the way He sees best! I am fairly certain it won’t be in any way that I would envision or imagine! It is a little scary at times to think about it.

As I prayed for my friend’s daughter, both her daughters in fact, many times in an hour as we were on the road just because it was fresh on my mind, my friend calls back to tell me of another incident in one of her daughter’s life that had just occurred. It seems as if either the enemy or God is pouring it on. Either way, it is from the hand of God, as the book Job so clearly tells us. Satan has only the power that God gives him. Even an attack from the enemy is allowed by God. He is totally and completely in control of everything. Nothing gets past our awesome God. He is an all powerful, all knowing God; and NOTHING and NO created thing can do anything without Him knowing, allowing, or motivating the behavior or event. This is comforting to me.

Some may get angry at that thought. How can a loving God allow children die in hot cars left by parents for hours and hours. How can a loving God allow children to starve? How can a loving God take my husband from me so soon? Why would God think that my loved one being murdered or raped or beaten is a good thing? How can God allow a Christian child reared in a Christian home make such poor choices? What did I do wrong? Why, Lord, why?

I pray fervently for my sons’ to make wise choices. I pray daily for their love to grow and their knowledge of the Lord to grow. But let’s face it. Wisdom means making the right choice or decision. And only God knows what that is. He often doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we would expect, for only He knows a heart. Only He knows what it is going to take to make His grace, His love, His power real to someone else. It is different for each soul. Being the Author and Perfector of each soul only the Creator can know what it is going to take-bringing him glory all the while!

As we wait, as parents, for God to finish the good work He has begun in our children, it can be very scary. I am glad that my friend called. I will certainly lift her children up before the throne room of grace more fervently with these specific requests. I know that I would want her praying for mine, and will likely be calling her in the future to do just that as my sons work out their faith with fear and trembling!

God may be the only one who knows which choice is right. But we are promised: “However, when He, the spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come.” We have the promises of God to cling to. We are told that if we train up a child in the way he should go that he will not depart from it when he is old. We are told that God will finish the good work that He has begun in our children. As I wait for that to come to pass, and it will take a lifetime, I must remember that my sons will fail. My sons will sin. My sons will make poor choices. If they do, God has allowed it. I won’t quit praying for them to make wise choices, but God’s purposes are greater than my experiences or theirs. What He allows He allows for the ultimate good of all believers. I must cling to the almost cliché verse people are reluctant to use any more, but it is such a great promise. “God will work all things together for good to them who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” He will. He did for Joseph. He did for Job. He did for Jonah. Many, many people of God in the Bible made poor choices, suffered injustices, or turned for awhile away from God. None of it took Him by surprise. It was all part of His plan from the beginning. And so it is for my sons, and my friend’s daughters.

Thank You, Jesus, that while we wait for our children to find their way, that You knew the path before they started down it. We thank You that all their days were numbered before one of them came to be. We thank You that their names are carved into the palm of Your hand. We praise You that you love them with an everlasting love, one that is far greater than anything we could ever bestow upon them-and we love them a lot. Thank You for your promises and help us to cling to them while we wait for them to find their way, or rather for You to lead them where You want them to go. Praise Your name, Jesus, both now and forever more.

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