I do my best to be the wife, the mother, the friend that God wants me to be but I cannot escape the fact that God is The One who holds my future in His hands, despite what I do or don’t do.
When life is peachy, it’s easy to fall for the lie that I must have done something good to cause it to be this way. The flip side of that is that when life is somewhat less than peachy that my actions have been the cause. This is not always true. Sometimes we reap the consequences of our choices and actions. But sometimes bad stuff just happens!
I don’t like the bad or sad times. In fact, I hate them. I wish I didn’t have to bear them. But after they are over, I know that God works through me when I am empty, when I have nothing left. It’s when I am dry, He can fill me up! When I am broken, He picks up the pieces and mends me.
I know that the way to restoration and healing is not a 12 step plan (not dissing plans for health and wealth but it must be noted that they are different to our spiritual condition). Many people read the Scriptures and search for the formula, the prescription. But in doing so, they have missed the point! The Bible isn’t a book of rules, it’s a book about God. It’s HiStory! His Story of Glory!
We may scatter seed and water it, but God alone gives the growth!
In looking around my little world, I see many parents who have diligently taught their children the ways of the Lord from early childhood only to be dismayed when the child grows to adulthood and turns his back on all that he grew up with. Yet, I also have many friends who were raised in atheist homes, being brought up in families that mocked Christianity, yet as adults they have come to know the Lord. Oh the unnecessary guilt and pain that comes from such things when one has trusted in a formula for parenthood! We may wonder what they did wrong as parents or what they failed to do but that is totally missing the point!
Read the Scriptures. Entirely!
Did Jacob do anything to deserve or earn becoming the patriarch of Israel in Genesis 32? And look at the life of Joseph? He may very well of been a downright annoying, smug little brother! Did he deserve to be imprisoned? Then again, did he deserve to be favoured and thus used by God in Genesis 49? Did the Hebrews who crossed the Red Sea deserve deliverance? Were the second and third generation of Israelites any better in Joshua 1? It isn’t about their goodness but in their weaknesses, God displays His glory.
I’m not saying that the Scriptures do not speak of blessings for obedience and some loss for disobedience. They do. But that is not the totality of the Scriptures. God is much bigger, more mysterious than that. Often in life, there is no logical answer for why some things happen. They just happen. It isn’t necessarily the result of an action or non action on our part and to attribute it to such is to fail to give God the glory.
The point I see in Scriptures is not how we are to Do This + That To Get (=) Favour. My future, the future of my children does NOT depend upon me! It depends upon God. Oh, what a relief to all parents! What a relief to me! Now I’m free to live, to love, to serve and glorify God as His child, His slave, without the burden of creating the perfect environment to raise the near-perfect child.
What’s the Bottom line?
Do your best and leave God to the rest. Our hope is in Him. He is the great Healer, the restorer. He is our Saviour, Our Lord and our Master. He is more than capable.
Share His goodness with your children every day. Yes train them, guide them, discipline them. But always be pointing to His goodness, His strength, His power, and His sovereignty. This is the way to teach your children that they are saved by grace, not works.
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
~1 Corinthians 3:6-7