There she is in my kitchen.
Pivoting between the cutting board and the big stovetop.
All large belly and the most beautiful red hair possible.
She’s a glorious testimony to the powerful love of God and the mysterious workings of His Spirit among the children of men.
There were days, weeks, even several years we thought she might be lost to us.
Her mother and I.
This one tried our faith. Honed is more like. So while we were begging God to work, to DO SOMETHING, He was. But He started with us. With all of us who loved and imagined the worst while hoping against hope for the best.
Little Judah, 3 years old, holds my hand as we descend the stairs. He asks if I’m afraid of the dark. I say no. He says when he’s afraid he sings a song or reads ‘devotion’ (he means his Bible for Children). Responses to fear ~ taught to him by his mother, the very one used by God to stretch and strengthen our faith.
Faith isn’t theoretical, it’s relational.
It’s how we are suppose to relate to God, taking Him at His word.
Faith is us saying to God ‘We know You want what You say You want in this one’s life, we want that too.’ ‘We’re hanging on to You, we’re counting on You, and we know You have a plan to work this all out for good.’
I’d had some experience in this before. My daughter, up until then, hadn’t.
This business of kids tearing your heart out, making you crazy with panic and worry, and a gut wrenching scenario that won’t stop playing in your head at night.
An old definition of worry: assuming responsibility God never intended you to have.
When a kid starts ‘heading into oncoming traffic’ a Mom starts looking for reasons.
All her searches end up in the same cup-de-sac.
Her own doubts and insecurities as a mother.
She married too young. She didn’t potty train correctly, or was it the pacifier, did she take it away too abruptly? She should have been more nurturing, or more strict, definitely more strict, no wonder this child lacks direction and self-control.
Was it public school? I should have homeschooled!!!
Was it movies?
Not enough prayer in the home?
A better Sunday School?
Why? Why? Why?
Why my daughter?
Why won’t she listen to reason?
Doesn’t she know I want what’s best for her?
Why can’t I help her, rescue her, save her from herself, protect her, stop her, control her?
Are you going around in circles, going crazy trying to blame yourself, explain the why?
Whatever the reason, you can’t change it now.
Whatever went wrong only God can put right.
The very best thing you can do for this girl is put her into God’s hands.
Don’t abdicate your responsibility, but stop trying to figure it all out.
When it’s all passed, and it will one day be passed, you won’t care why she went astray.
You’ll just rejoice in the safe ‘return’ of a prodigal.
There’ll be feasting and rejoicing in your home again.
If you start doubting God’s good intention, or His power, His interest, you need to remind yourself of this passage in Romans 8.
God gave His only Son for the purpose of bringing us back from a lost place.
I love the few words that form a question for us: how will he not also?
Is there any way that God, who gave up His only Son, will start being stingy now?
No. Not a chance. Whatever’s needed He will provide. All things.
Who can bring a charge? No one. Because God justifies.
Who can condemn? No one.
God is the Judge who justifies.
Christ is the Savior who died.
But He also rose again.
That’s power demonstrated.
Transforming, life giving power.
And He is interceding for us.
You’re not in this alone.
God isn’t assigning blame.
He isn’t casting stones.
He’s giving everything graciously.
Don’t lose faith in His will, or His power to perform it.
God is expert at retrieving prodigals.
He did it with me.
He did it with you.
He did it with my daughter.
He did it with her daughter.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God,
who indeed is interceding for us.
You may find some inspiration in this short video from the inimitable Ann Voskamp.
This is a dynamic duet reading of The Esther Generation, a spoken word poem.
[vimeo 89473829 w=500 h=281]