God uses children to get our attention, to reveal our sin, and to save us for our good and his glory. Our children are gifts partly because God is faithful to use them in order to get us ready for heaven. If God has given you the role of parent, the point isn’t for you to nail it.
The role of parent isn’t so much for you to produce a holy child as it is for God to produce a holy you.
I resented others who said they had a great first year. I was envious of those who were popping out kids with no problem while we couldn’t even figure out sex. I hated when people joked about “doing it” all the time as newlyweds.
And as I saw my sinful responses to my trial grow, I realized that maybe I had worshiped my hopes for sex more than my God.
The night he died it stormed. My wife and I were restless, weeping, and holding each other closely. I remember pleading with God in my distress, “Why didn’t you send these rains just a few hours earlier? He wouldn’t have been outside! This nightmare never would have happened! Why did you allow it to happen this way, God?!”
My unchangeable circumstances made my cries feel hollow.
"But I thought . . . " we say. And we're stopped short. Our breath is caught. And another dream didn't end well, but unwell things in us ended as a result.
The roller coaster of hoping and lamenting in times of waiting can really be exhausting. I deeply do not prefer waiting for God to open His hand to give me good things that I desire. In my current season, I am waiting on the Lord for a second child. I want to be hopeful and pray expectantly. But my hopes often seem to get too high, which I only realize when they crash down around me. If I’m being honest I am so tempted toward apathy during seasons of waiting. I want to avoid the whole emotional ordeal altogether.
I wish I could have been there, but what comfort and joy to know that Jesus was there. He was holding my mother’s hand, reminding her of his faithful promises. He was preparing her heart and giving her spiritual eyes to see her true home. It has brought me peace to be reminded that my mother’s death wasn’t about my inability or failure to comfort or help her, but about His sufficiency and faithfulness to care for her.
In the Old Testament when God wanted to guarantee a promise, he made an oath. He gave his own word based on his own character because it’s the most unbreakable, unchangeable thing there is. There’s nothing more sure than Himself. Because He cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. When we run to God for our very lives we get to grab the promised hope of what He is offering and what we need with both hands.