So it happened . . . the dreaded “call.” The call no parent wants to get. The call that other people get, not me. The call that says “There’s been an accident.”
I don’t remember the next few minutes. I know that I got into the car. I know that my husband drove. I know that I couldn’t get there fast enough and yet I dreaded reaching the scene. I couldn’t look and yet I couldn’t stop scanning the highway. Stupid call. I hate the call.
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I’m relieved to report that Thanksgiving Day 2008 did not have a tragic ending. There are details, yes, but they are being dredged through, one day at a time. There were emergency room visits, and a totaled car and an over-turned vehicle and policemen and ambulances and traffic and the stop sign I steadied myself with as it all unfolded. But, by God’s sovereign grace, there was no tragedy. (Um, Jesus . . . Thank You . . . again.)
It’s crazy how parenting transforms life. As an unbelieving single person, I only thought of myself. Later, as a believer, before having children, I began to learn (albeit painfully s-l-o-w-l-y) to trust God with the details of life. And then, children came upon the scene, and the trust in God, that I truly believed I possessed, showed itself to be transparent. The struggle had begun.
AND EVEN THOUGH . . .
I know that God Almighty can be trusted for salvation. (I know my name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I know that a place is being prepared for me. I know that Jesus is coming back for me, maybe soon. . . I know. I am convinced.)
AND EVEN THOUGH
I know that God heals and delivers and restores. (I know, because my mind has been healed and my emotions have been delivered and relationships have been restored. . . . I know. I am convinced.)
AND EVEN THOUGH
I know that trials, despite their shock and awe, are truly (in the hands of a Holy God) able to transform us into people who look and act and think and love like Jesus . . . ( I know. I am convinced.)
Even though we may fiercely believe all of the above, with all of our hearts, sometimes we still struggle to really “let go” of our kids and trust that they are truly kept by Him. So, most of the time, we keep ourselves ‘readied’ for “the call.”
“The Call” is a secret menace in the background of every parent’s mind. It’s there because the parent/child connection is very powerful and whether we give birth to them or adopt them or inherit them by marriage, when they become “ours”, they actually become a part of us. And as we spend years nursing tiny injuries, feeding growing bodies, encouraging bruised emotions and praying for their spirits to one day choose truth, we sometimes forget that a day is fast approaching where we (should) begin to turn them loose and entrust them to their Creator.
Will God watch over them as closely as we have? Will he make sure that their lives are comfortable and safe and purposeful and safe and happy and safe? As long as “The Call” (or something comparable) never comes, we have a tendency to believe that God is performing his co-parenting job well enough. But what about the day when “The Call” comes. What then?
“God, were You paying attention? I asked You, just this morning, to watch over them while they were driving. Remember?”
“Lord, You promised that You’d never leave them nor forsake them!”
“Father, I dedicated this child to your Kingdom before his birth. Why didn’t you take care of him?”
“Jesus, I want to trust you, but I need to know that my children will . . . “
These and countless similar thoughts invade the minds of true believers every day. For all of us, I will end with the words God placed on my shaken, parental heart on Thanksgiving Day:
Child, do not trust your eyes. Everything I allow, everything I prevent, is sovereignly appointed with a divine purpose. I make ALL THINGS work together for good. . . I AM able. I love them more than you can possibly know. My eternal goals for your children are far higher and far more glorious and far more weighty than anything you can think or imagine or dream. Pray. Continue to intercede. Believe. Continue to speak truth into their lives. Know that what I have done in you, I am doing in them. Do not trust your eyes. Trust Me.
In other words . . .
For you should walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor 5-7) Know that all things work together for good…(Romans 8:28) Be satisfied and fully assured that God is able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He has promised.(Rom 4:21) I love them with an everlasting love.(Jer 31:3) I Am He who is able to do super-abundantly, far over and above all that you dare ask or think – infinitely beyond your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams… (Eph 3:20). My ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) Pray without ceasing. (1 Thes 5:17). Speak excellent things; make your mouth speak truth. (Prov 8:6-8). For you should walk by faith, and not by sight.(2 Cor 5-7) I will preserve them. Put your trust in Me.(Psalm 16:1)
Also posted at: Internet Cafe Devotions