When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
We can watch our children suffer from many causes. They may get sick just because we live in a fallen world. They may groan under the consequences of their own choices. If they have followed the call of God on their lives, we will see their faith tested. Perhaps we’ve walked a similar road and we know how crushing testing can be. There will be moments when we cry out, “Lord, it’s hard to trust You with my child. Please strengthen my faith!”
As I watch my child come to the end of their resources as Jesus did in the desert of His testing, I will do about anything to end their torment. But the worst part of divine shaping is not the physical pain but spiritual anguish. To see childlike faith crack into pieces rocks a parent’s heart. I stay on my knees and ask God to preserve my child’s confidence in His love and promises.
The tears of our children’s darkest moments cannot define our perspective. The stunning, end result of their testing cannot be seen yet. We need to trust God and hold on. In the meantime, we must not afflict our children with platitudes. This will alienate them from us – the very ones they may be trusting to walk with them through the experience. What can we do? Share our tears, pray their stories out loud with our arms around them, and assure them that God loves them.
As a parent, we must ‘build the bridges of friendship strong enough to support the truth.’ We may squirm as we enter in to their doubts, questions, and tears, but we are to be fully engaged in their grueling faith-walk. Nothing binds families together like a spiritual pilgrimage of faith.
Lord, there is a prize. My child, on the other side of any spiritual desert, will be dazzling. Amen
Journal Question: Jesus prayed without ceasing. In the garden before His crucifixion, He cried out to His father in loud cries and tears. His Father would have answered Him. What might He have said to comfort Him?