I read a pretty powerful statement the other day. It was one of those sentences that jumped straight off the page and into the depths of my soul. It has haunted me for days. It has made me put fingertips to keyboard. It simply said "I will not sacrifice Your grace for my child on the alter of other people's opinions." It went on further to explain that even though we desperately want our children to make wise choices and walk in obedient behavior, ultimately we have to trust God as HE writes their testimony, not US. And guess what that means......we have ZERO control over what or when He sees fit to do so. That is a pretty bitter pill to swallow. In fact in burns going down.
We throw the words Grace and Mercy around pretty frequently in church, but how many times is Grace abundantly available and we blatantly turn it down. When I read that statement, I was convicted. The writer of that statement was explaining a story where she was approached by another parent with a long list of all of her daughters short comings. She was given information of behavior she wasn't aware of, and some behavior she had been fervently praying for God's intervention for years. Not only did this woman approach her, but she informed her she had told several others, including her pastor, in the name of justice. She was embarrassed. Ashamed. Ostracized. Persecuted. Ridiculed. Heartbroken. Angry. She forgot in that moment that Grace was readily available for her child. Grace by definition is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. It is His readily available favor for the unworthy.
As a parent, we have a "right now" mentality. When I pray for God to intervene in a situation, or for Him to correct a particular behavior, or for Him to just take an entire problem away, I don't mean when He see's fit to do it, I mean right that very second. I get discouraged when He doesn't. I think we all do. I think about a mother praying for her child battling addiction. She knows in her heart that she didn't raise her child to be that way. She continuously prays for God to step in and fix it. When she doesn't see it happen, she wonders if God even hears her. She then starts looking for faults in herself. What has she done to warrant this. Where did she fail. Where did she go wrong. She fears the future. She dwells on what people say about her family. She focuses on what people must think of her. She allows it to consume her. She is heartbroken for a child that she loves more than her own life. She needs God to fulfill His promise to her right now. She needs peace in her heart. She needs people’s opinions to change in order to do so.
It could be the mother of a teenager who has just told her she is pregnant. The mother of a child who has a hard time minding the rules. The mother of a child who was born with rebellion in their blood and has defied every rule placed in front of them since they learned the word NO. It could be a mom who see's her child struggle with insecurity and fears he/she will harm himself. The mom of the kid who talks too much. The mom of the kid who never speaks. The mom of the kid with special needs that no one seems to understand. The mom of the kid who made that very public mistake. The mom of the kid who is struggling with who they are and who God intended for them to be. The mom of the kid with the wrong kind of friends. The mom of the kid with no friends. The mom of the kid who is a bully. The mom of the kid who imitates the behavior of a bully just to fit in. The mom of the kid who will go to any lengths to impress the cool kids. The mom of the kid who doesn't understand why God made them so different. The mom of the kid who thrives on attention, no matter if it is good or bad.
I go back in my own life and assess the times I know my own mother felt some of these ways. I see some of the struggles I have walked through and know she must have prayed for me to take a different path. I can imagine her nights of tear stained pillows crying out to God for Him to intervene. The beauty and reality of the situation is had God stepped in when she must have pleaded for Him too, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't have the testimony that I do. I wouldn't know the depths of God's unfailing love for me. I wouldn't even understand what His Grace is. God did hear her prayer. God did have a plan for me, it probably just took Him longer to reveal it than she would have liked. God was writing my testimony.
So from now on, I will choose Grace for my child rather than sacrificing it on the opinions of others. The beauty is whether or not any of us actually deserve His Grace, His blood still covers us in it. I will carry this realization with me through his teenage years. I know I will need it then the most. I will remember that whether God intervenes in my time or His, He is writing his testimony the way he see's fit to do so. I will extend grace to others as well, because Gods grace doesn't pick and choose.
Do you find yourself in a situation where you need to accept Gods abundant grace for your child, but you can’t see past the opinions of others to do so? My prayer for you today is that you can find freedom in that statement like I did and fully trust God as HE writes your kids testimony. His Grace truly is greater than ALL our sins.
Sidenote: If you are looking for a great study and this blog resonated with you, pick up a copy of “Finding I Am” by Lysa TerKeurst.