Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Worried About Your Child's Future? Part 2

In Part I of this series, I stated that separating my part in preparing my boys for their futures, from God's part, helps alleviate my fears.  In doing this, I'm concentrating on what I can control, verses what I can't.  Biblically speaking, my part is to teach my children about the precepts of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:7, Proverbs 22:6), and keep my children from folly, without frustrating or angering them. (Proverbs 22:15, Ephesians 6:4)

There are two facets to God's part, in my mind.  First, there is his will for my sons' lives, and secondly, there are his promises.

My first and most important parenting lesson came on a gray November day in the year 2000.  I was thirty-four years old and 21 weeks pregnant with my first child.  During a routine ultrasound that day, I was told that my son had died.

The lesson, on which I had a refresher course in 2005, was this:  Our children do not belong to us.  They are His.  Those we have the privilege of rearing are no more ours than the precious ones we bury early.  Their heavenly Father can call them home at any moment. Any moment.

"See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who puts to death and gives life.  I have wounded, and it is I who heals; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand." Duet. 32:39

The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low and He also exalts.  1 Sam 2:6, 7

In the above verses we are confronted with God's Sovereignty.  And in these:

Prov. 16:4  The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Prov. 19:21  Many are the plans of a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord will be established.

He pre-wrote my sons' stories, just as he did mine. (Jeremiah 1:9)  While I can't predict the turns their lives will take, I do know they will suffer, as their father and I have done, and all the ancestors that lived before us. 

"In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake."  Philippians 1:29

I was a baby Christian that November day in 2000, only knowing the Lord three years, and knowing marital bliss just sixteen months.  In those dark grief days, it seemed that I had nothing to live for.  My wedding pictures, once a source of joy, seemed to mock me from the mantle.  Would we have been smiling so wide, I wondered, if we'd known of the sorrow to come? 

I wrestled with God's sovereignty for the next five months, until conceiving Peter.  With hope growing inside me, I delved into Scripture to learn more about God's purpose and will for mankind.  

What did I learn and find comfort in?  

That he created us in love, to share his love with us (to fellowship with us), and to bring glory to Himself.  

"Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him."  Isaiah 43:7

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return unto me void, but it will accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:11

But no, we are not puppets.  God allows us free will, and our will intersects with God's sovereignty on the cross.  This is how I know that God created us in love, to share his love:  

The cross proves it.

God uses our choices for good.  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

God has a plan for us, and also a purpose.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

From Scripture we know:
- that God is sovereign
- that He created us to share his love with us and to bring glory to Himself
- that we were created to do good
- that He has plans to prosper us.

When I find myself worrying about my boys' future, I remember all that Scripture teaches me.  Three T's help summarize it for me:

I have to Teach my children about the precepts of the Lord.

I must Treasure my children, for I know not, how long they'll be with me.

I can Trust the Lord's sovereignity, for he created my sons to share his love with them, and he has plans to prosper them and have them do good.

Teach, Treasure, Trust

In the next and final part of this series, I want to discuss the blessings that come from disability and weakness, and explain why we must not look upon them as curses.

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