Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NRSV)
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
I remember talking to my daughter before she was born…
I would put my hand on her mother’s belly, and feel the baby move within her, and I would tell the baby how much we loved her, and how we couldn’t wait to meet her! I would also talk to her about life, the world, and about our small family.
When we had the radio on we would wonder if she could hear the music and if so, what she might have made of it…if she understood what it was. Then there were times when we would play sort of a game where she would push against my hand, and then I would push back gently, over and over again!
It was all so fascinating…to form a connection with her even before she was born!
Later when she was a toddler, and it wound up being just the two of us, our connection deepened. During those days I liked to keep her close, and always felt much better when I knew she was home and safe and under my protection!
Today, she is a young adult, and in the time between being a child and becoming an adult, there were many harrowing days and nights, many experiences that shook me up as she struggled with addiction, and there were many times when I wished that I could still protect her from the evils of this world as well as from her own mistakes, just like I did when she was little.
There were also many times when I wished I had done a better job at keeping her on a good track in life.
The truth is that in spite of our best efforts we cannot always protect our children. Even if we never let them out of the house, to the point of stunting their emotional and social growth, we still could not always keep them safe. (In fact, they would probably be even more twisted after being raised in such isolation.) However, this does not mean we are powerless to keep them from the harms of this world, as we can give ourselves more credit, and trust our abilities as parents. While we may have made some mistakes, if we raised our children with love and good intent then the values that we have passed on to them will light a spark of common sense within them…eventually. This spark has the ability to direct them towards doing the next right thing when faced with the challenges of life, and to seek wholeness and healing if they have been broken.
We can also our eternal connection with God, who’s grace surrounds us all, and have faith that just as our children can never lose our love, we can never be separated from God’s love and protection!
This does not mean that the worst will never happen, that we will never know tragedy or pain. What it does mean is that through the trials we face when traveling the often rocky roads of life, God is always with us both through Christ and through the support and care of those who travel with us! It is Christ who walks with us, weeping with us through the tough times, offering us comfort when we mourn, and rejoicing with us when we find ourselves in the midst of healing and the road becomes easier!
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, thank you that we have always been immersed in your gracious love, and for the opportunity to share that love with our children! Let us have trust in our own parenting, as well as in your loving presence in all of our lives. Please help us remember…even on the bad days…that we walk in the light of your grace, and as such we do not travel this road of life alone, but that you it is Christ who walks with us, and with all those with whom we share your gifts of grace.