Happy or Holy or both?!
I am a parent. I want my kids to be happy. I want them to be healthy. I want their needs met. I pray for them to make good decisions and good relationships. What I wrestle with is helping them pursue holiness over their “happiness”, their comfort and well-being. (And actually their well-being is ultimately a result of their holiness). I am committed to E. and C. for life; nothing is going to change that relationship. I had the privilege of giving them life and raising them, providing for and disciplining them and I love them so much. My relationship with my kids allows me a glimpse into the heart of God the Father.
God is my parent. My heavenly father. He is not committed to my happiness in the same way that an earthly parent perhaps is; at least he does not make any mistakes and has no character flaws that would spoil or mess up his job as a parent. He is the ultimate source of my life, he provides for me joyfully, he corrects and disciplines me and he loves me with abandon. He wants me to be holy. He has no decision making skills are not a result of a seminar, the internet or a book. He does not parent as a reaction to how He was parented. His decisions are perfect, crafted in wisdom and perfectly timed.
Just as I love to talk with and spend time with my kids God loves to talk with me. I have the privilege of calling Him Father. What an intimate thought! And God my good father gives me what I need, not necessarily what I want. And quite honestly, I often don’t know what I want! His perspective, together with His lovingkindness, takes everything into account when he answers me. His ability to meet the needs of everyone simultaneously and completely is unfathomable! He sees my life from the topside of the tapestry and I only see the strings and knots of the underside which seems to have no rhyme or reason.
There is a jewish expression “Gamzu” that means “This too” and it is shortened from a phrase that means This too is for the best. Even the most challenging of days, even the frustrations of life in the moment are in God’s control. I believe that everything God does is for my best interest and His greatest glory. It is Gamzu. Just saying that in faith puts a new spin on things. It is a way of acknowledging that God is giving me what I truly need, that he is “gamzuring” my prayers, even if I never understand why. He is a good father who does not randomly dole out challenges for me to maneuver through. His parenting guides me every day of my life with goodness and love as my shepherd.
- financial tension? This too.
- wayward relationships? This too
- cancer and loss of my life partner? gamzu.
- depression and anxiety? gamzu.
Yes Lord, even if you slay me, I will trust and put my hope in you. Job 13:15
May I be a godly parent all the days of my life. Amen.