Saturday, August 19, 2006


I have been privileged in my lifetime to have known many extraordinarily gifted people, in the secular world and in the spiritual. Many have remained examples for me, and the memory of their service, their excellence in some particular field or their character has driven me to excel in my own areas of service and gifting. I have remained friends with a few for many years, long enough to watch how the difficulties of life can wound and discourage even the most stalwart souls. One of the hardest things for me to do in life is maintain my own confidence and encourage those who seem so much more rich in the things of life and God. I think to myself, "What do I have to even offer these people?" I continue to read the book of James, and in it are some answers to my questions.

First of all, do not estimate and treat people on the basis of outward appearance, no matter how strong they appear, or how weak. Have faith that if I am in a situation with a person who needs help, God will give the wisdom and answer my prayers. It seems at least in the spiritual realm (and in the physical) folks get so caught up in what they think they need to do, they forget who they are. Our permanent identity is as God's children. I have three children. Each are broadly and wildly different in their tastes, their preferences, their ways of showing love and their weaknesses. My eldest daughter is like carnival, all noise and color, a crazy swirl of activity and fun that leaves us all exhausted and breathless after a visit. My youngest girl is a smart and merry counselor, surprising anyone she meets with her wit and wisdom. My son is deep water-the surface almost never tells what is beneath. The point is, they are all first and foremost, my children. I glory in their individual traits and I long for them all to use their uniqueness in the world serve and to succeed. But whatever they do, they are my children. I laugh with their joys, cry with their sorrows, and bear all that they are because I bore them.

If I could communicate anything to people I love and admire in my life, it is that very thing. God is first of all your father. Good fathers do not maintain unrealistic expectations of their children. They are tenderhearted toward them, longing to do all that is necessary to help them be what they were born to be. Truly loving parents do not love to merely achieve results in their children. They love period. Sometimes our strengths become terrible weaknesses if we begin to trust more in what we do than who we are and think that God somehow will beat out of us what He expects. He gives to us in joy that we may be joyful with Him. That is what I wish to share with my children-their joy in anything we as parents may have given them, which is love and out of that love. It would kill me to think my children believed my love was conditional. Our birthright is in relationship, and God is the supreme parent.


Post a Comment

<< Home