I think anyone who has been a parent understands that there are the cherished moments of family fun and laughter and then there are those other moments.
Our children must learn about death, disappointment, failure, loss, rejection and how to reign themselves in.
The joys and the hardships are all a part of parenting in the ebb and flow of life.
As the years have gone by, I have experienced every one of them at various seasons with my kids as well as in my own life as I continue to see God ‘grow’ me up.
I have learned much in suffering about myself, my Savior and His purposes. It has been a necessary part of my journey and I would be a very shallow person without it.
God, as a father, disciplines and trains His children and it is all good.
The flip side of the discipline is the father heart of God that loves to give His children gifts they ask for and surprise ones that they don’t!
I can think of several of these that make me smile when I remember them.
I remember reading a book by a famous author one time and wishing so badly I could meet her on a certain day when she was at a fair in the area. Lo and behold, if an opportunity didn’t open up for me to not only get to hear her speak but to sit on the front row and meet her as well.
When Rick was finishing his last semester of seminary, we had our first baby due right before it started and we didn’t know how we could afford for me to quit my job and stay home with her. We prayed about it and a surprise check came in the mail for the exact amount needed to cover his last semester’s tuition!
Another time, we needed a car for our growing family. I found one advertised in the newspaper and we drove to the house to look at it. Across the street from this house was a beautiful station wagon glistening in the driveway. I was so disappointed that this wasn’t the car that was for sale because it would perfectly meet our needs. When we knocked on the door, the owner of the car told us we would need to walk across the street to look at it since that is where he had parked it to wash it!
After living in downtown, crime infested Dallas in a studio apartment for 4 years while in seminary, we were called to candidate at a church in a small town in Kansas. We were happy that it would be only a few hours from our families. We drove into the town and I saw a beautiful, yellow, bungalow at the edge of town. I jokingly said to my husband, “if that’s the parsonage then this is where we are supposed to move!” After the interview, the board asked if we wanted to tour the parsonage. Guess which house they drove to?
I could add countless more stories to this because they are endless. I will say though, that God is so good to us and His mercies truly are new every morning.
He takes us through deep suffering and trials at times but He also loves to delight us with special blessings and surprises, just because He loves us!
Even in the seasons of our greatest trials, if we will look, He is there working, providing and blessing us in ways we could never have imagined.
We have yet to fully grasp and understand what an infinitely loving and generous God he is. I am convinced if we could, we would never worry, fear or doubt another day in our entire life.
He is all good, all loving, all powerful, all providing.
He truly is, the perfect parent!