Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No Greater Joy .... November 3, 2010

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 4

I became a follower of Jesus Christ when my youngest child, a son, was 4 months old. One of the very first things I did [and I remember it like yesterday] was to kneel beside him, and give Him back to Jesus. I believed then and to this day that it was God's will that I do so. It was pure and right with no other motive, than that my son would one day serve our King. God gave him to me and I gave him back to God.

Over the years friends had often said that I was like the mother of James and John wanting my son to sit either to the right or left of King Jesus. That is not true. My heart's desire, for Christ planted it there, was that Stephen would serve the King - and not seated to His right or left, but at His feet.

Never in my wildest imagination, as I knelt beside him those thirty years ago, did I ever think my son would not serve God. If anything, I was so very grateful - certain that Christ who opened my eyes to my depravity would do the same for my son. As his mom, I would bring him up [as well as his older sister] in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and one day like Samuel, he too on hearing the voice of God, would say, "Speak, for your servant is listening." My favorite verse -- "There is no greater joy than to hear your child walks in truth!!! " But for many years and to this day, my son does not walk in truth. He does not serve God, but rejects King Jesus.

Over the years, I have not had that joy [yes joy...but not the greater joy of hearing my own child walks with Jesus] but rather great heartache. The "lost" of my son has been the most difficult trial I have ever had to bear as a mom who loves the Lord Jesus. One particular season my dear husband Larry came home each afternoon, just to hold me in his arms as I wept uncontrollably as my heart pain over my lost child was so unbearable. There were days...weeks when I did not even know where he was. Had he been in a car wreck? Was he lying on the side of the road? Where was he sleeping? Did he have food to eat? I was also angry, hurt, bitter, resentful for how could this happen?!! Was it not God's will that my son would live for Him? What did I do wrong? Did I hear God right?

Looking back -- I did plenty wrong as a parent raising children. I usurped the authority of my husband, was oftentimes harsh and I could go on and on...but that is for another blog. Bottom line I was not "all that." But heart for Jesus was and still is that my children would serve Him. 3 John 4 says: "to hear" not see. God began a work in my heart that I don't have to "see." It is enough that I hear that they are His and living for Him -- and so that is my prayer.

I do... I do... I do believe in spite of me and my parenting, God graciously gave me my son and daughter to raise for His glory, for His kingdom purpose. Before the beginning of time sovereign God knew I would mess up and yet He still allowed me to have children to bring them up - for His good pleasure. He is the One who will take my ashes and turn them into beauty. I believe not based on a promise found in the Bible, but a whisper to my heart many years ago that my children, both of them -- would serve the King. I rejoice to see that my daughter walks in truth... and I await to hear that my son does as well.

Last night in our Community Group, we were reading the parable of the prodigal son [Luke 15] and a new friend, a bear of a man... a biker...who came for the very first time tearfully told us that his former wife and daughter had been praying for him for 14 years. Six months ago - he repented and turned to Christ at the age of 51. I was so personally encouraged, that of all the nights, for him to was the night we were talking about the eternal-timeless love of Father God who forgives.

In a separate conversation at the end of the night, my dear friend, Melissa drew me aside as she was under divine compulsion to begin praying everyday for my son. It is my belief that Sovereign God orchestrates everything....places things on our hearts, in our pray about because He is about to move... He is about to do something. So like the father of the prodigal son, I am anticipating my son's return.... but not to me, but to God and say, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Someone wrote regarding prayer to "expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He only can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ and expect great things."

A popular allegory, many have been blessed by is .."Hinds Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard. "Much Afraid", a young woman journeying to the High Places of the Shepherd is guided by two companions, Sorrow and Suffering. One of my favorite parts in the story is whenever the Shepherd.. the Good Shepherd... talks with Much Afraid they always withdrew a little. Sorrow and Suffering always present but also always withdrawing a little when the Good Shepherd is present talking with Much Afraid alone.

Throughout the years, 15 now, sorrow and suffering have been my constant companions over Stephen, but my Good Shepherd is also ever present. I have come to love sorrow and suffering for like Much Afraid they have brought me into a deeper intimacy with the Good Shepherd. Of late, I think I actually hear them laughing. I feel there is something on the horizon...something that suffering and sorrow knows and believing that very soon I will hear.

November 3, 2010


Jenn said...

My dear new friend....with tears in my eye I type this to you....THANK YOU for sharing your heart and something so deeply intimate. I see my little ones, and the heart they have for the Lord right now and pray that that will continue to deepen as they grow, and in the back of my mind I know that there is a chance it might not turn out that way, so I will continue to pray. I will pray for your Stephen, too, as your story truly touched my heart. And thank you for the reminder that though our Father KNOWS we will make mistakes with our children, He doesn't make mistakes. We are who was supposed to raise our children, and He loves us enough to give us such precious blessings. <3

Meyerdrk said...

Mrs. B - I'm joining you in your prayers for Stephen, and rejoicing with you that your daughter walks in truth...may your son join the journey to the Celestial City soon. We've been talking here lately about how our sinful nature erects little kingdoms in opposition to the God who reigns when He has opened the way through Christ for us to enter His glorious live the unspeakable privilege of being sons and daughter of the King of all kings...may God crush the "Stephen kingdom" and usher him into His own, granting him faith in Jesus and a new life in the Spirit. Love you Mrs. B...I'm praying God gives you the great joy of knowing your children, plural, walk in truth.

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