Remembering this morning a favorite verse of my mom, your grandmother. I had read the verse many times before but never gave a lot of thought to it, until March 2012 when I went back to Guam to spend time with my mom and care for her in her last few weeks before stepping into eternity.
Mom asked me to bring one of her many bibles to her and indicated that this particular one had a list of all her children and their birth dates on it, followed by two scriptures. She wanted assurance that I would let my brothers and sisters know, this was her prayer for them.
“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Is that not the cry of every parents heart?
Is it not the troubles that beset our children... the pain and despair that we can not protect them from, the decisions we can not make for them, the consequences we can not continually keep at bay… that break our hearts?
We bring our children into the world, frail and totally dependent on our care and protection and then we spend the rest of our days learning to let go. We struggle to figure out the difference between parenting without smothering and outright neglect. How do we nurture and cause them to thrive and live independent of our constant care? And with each passing day... as we little by little, life lesson by life lesson, learn to let go…. our hearts break… because we realize that though our thoughts are of peace and not of evil toward them, the choice to place their trust in God and embrace a future and hope, lie with them… not us.
This is both our great dilemma and our great hope.
No I can not make that decision for my children. I have no guarantees that those I love will open the undeserved gift of the cross, embrace the sacrifice made for their sins and enter into a future and hope in Christ. I can only choose to enter into that reality for myself and embrace every morning with unspeakable hope and peace and joy because I trust in a Savior who loves me and has redeemed me.
I know the thoughts the Lord has towards me are of peace and not of evil and because of that great hope I can rise every morning and contend for the mercies of God and do battle in prayer on behalf of my children. I can lift my voice, and know the heavens will not be brass and ... for just one more day Lord... let the sun shine on both the saved and the unsaved. One more day Lord, let your grace and mercy be poured out upon the earth. Just one more day Lord, for those that don't know you… Those who have no hope… One more day Lord…that they might call on Your name and that they may know… your thoughts towards them are of peace and not of evil, to give them a future and a hope.
Son do you remember that visit with grandma and pop on Guam in 2009? That was a hard time for mom and pop. His health had deteriorated to a level where grandma had to become his full time caregiver. It wasn't easy and was physically and mentally draining for her. But while we were there, every morning at 6am we heard them pray and sing their favorite hymn which is also that second verse she asked me to share with my brothers and sisters...her final prayers for us as she prepared to enter eternity. Do you remember that song?
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
And so the other favorite bible verse is Gods promise to all mothers as they contend for their sons and daughters. "Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed. Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:23~23.
Son, remember as always... You are greatly loved. Mom