My clever blog title is God speaking, not me. I sure hope someday I do have grandchildren. (No time soon Ian and Becca) From what I’ve heard, being a grandparent is the absolute best. According to my sources …. you can enjoy those grandkids, love on those grandkids, spoil those grandkids and then give them back. Sounds to me a bit like enjoying the fruit without the effort to grow the fruit. Sign me up.
It’s true, God doesn’t have grandchildren. Have you ever thought about that? Further, God will never have grandchildren. (Judges 2:10) Yes, technically, all Christians are decedents of Abraham. (Genesis 15). But spiritually speaking, each and every one of us stands alone before the Father. God has many, many, many adopted sons and daughters. I love that truth. The playing field is level. It doesn’t matter where I’ve come from, how I was raised, the “goodness” of my parents or even the faith of my parents. None of that matters. If I have a personal relationship with God and His son Jesus Christ, I am promised the inheritance. Romans 8:17 is my proof.
Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Can you imagine being an heir to the Creator of the Universe and Co-heir with Christ? Now that is some FINE pedigree. What good news.
But, if you’re a Christian parent… there is also sobering news. Your faith has NO bearing on the eternal destiny of your children. It doesn’t matter that you dragged your kids to church almost every Sunday; or that you said grace together before meals. No extra points for prayers at bedtime; or that you modeled your faith. Parents cannot make faith happen for their children. As much as we may want it for them, each and every one stands alone before God.
Proverbs 22:6 . “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Doug and I have invested a lot of prayer and energy in pointing our kids in the right direction. Further, church involvement, prayers and discussions of faith have all been a wise investment. But, ultimately, both Ian and Rebecca must decide.
You can lead a horse to water… but you cannot make him drink. In the end, it is all about the relationship. Do you know a lot about God from what you’ve heard, or what your parents said? Or do you know Him? Your life in eternity, depends upon it.
Ian’s motivation has been suspect in the last month or so. Who can blame him? He has had to work hard to get to baseline over and over and over again. And the baseline has degraded with each brain surgery. My role in Ian’s recovery has been significant, it’s true. I make appointments, seek out additional therapies, drive him all over kingdom come, but ultimately recovery is up to Ian. It often feels like the picture above. Ian, the horse, is resisting the work. Who wouldn’t choose easy and comfortable?
If tragedy and crisis has taught me anything, it is that life is fragile. There are no guarantees. Tomorrow is uncertain.
I have prayed relentlessly for my kids, for their yet to be known spouses, and their choice of friends. I’ve asked that God would protect them and guide them. But lately, with a heightened sense of urgency and motivated by a clearer perspective, I’ve been praying that God would get in their face.
What a dangerous, UNSAFE prayer. I am asking God to impose Himself — to be a LION.
In the book by C.S. Lewis, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, Mr. Beaver tells Susan that Aslan (the ruler of Narnia) is a great lion. Susan is surprised, since she assumed Aslan was a man. She then tells Mr. Beaver, “I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” She asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan is safe, to which Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.”
When I think of the times in my life when God was in my face, it wasn’t during the easy, comfortable, things are going my way times. Today, it occurred to me. Maybe, just maybe, this season of struggle for Ian, has been prolonged because God is using it in Ian’s life, to get in his face — to answer my unsafe prayer.
Out of my Control
Not unlike the outcome of emergency brain surgery, the faith of my children, is out of my control. So what can I do? I believe my first priority, as in every other circumstance I can imagine, is to attend to my own relationship with Jesus. I take off my mother hat, park the helicopter, and become like a child. His child.
1 John 3:1 “How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we might be called children of God.”
They are yours, Lord
Then, and only then, I entrust my children to the Unsafe lion. — just as Abraham did with his son Isaac. God, have your way with Rebecca and Ian. A life e of your design that includes hardship, and character building and eternal purpose is better than a comfortable, easy life with no eternal reward. Be unsafe in their lives. I trust you.