Playing hookey

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That’s only partly true. I went to prayer meeting but left before church. It’s one of those days when things are running a little too close to the surface, when well-meaning people ask “What’s wrong?” and I dissolve into tears. I decided to spare them the gushing.

At times parenting is like walking through a minefield. Now’s one of those times. We inch along, trying to be so careful, not wanting to cause explosions or pain, but it’s going to happen. The issue with our youngest boils down to this: He’s angry at God for allowing certain things to happen. After all, if God is omnipotent, sovereign, can see the future and all that, do I really have a choice in things? Do I really have a free will? The answer is yes, of course, but my son doesn’t see that. So he feels justified in his anger. But anger is a consuming thing, like jealousy or lust, and is not content to stay contained. It will continue to burn and grow until it engulfs every ounce of a person’s life. The conscience, which we should strive to protected because it is a gift! is the first to be seared, and when it goes the dominoes get set into action.

My son is wrestling with God, and when you do that you compel Him to put you out of joint. Wrestling before Him is another matter entirely. God’s order is unchangeable; His permissive will is that with which we must wrestle with things before Him. It is our reaction to the permissive will of God that enables us to get at His order, to put up a glorious fight to lay hold of verses like Romans 8:28. I know myself the tendency to want to “squat lazily before Him” and have to beware of just throwing up my hands and saying, “It’s the Lord’s will.” It’s not His will that any should perish. If we perish it is because we choose to.

I have to remind myself that my children aren’t really mine. They belong to God, just as I do, just as everyone does. If I’ve learned nothing else from all this, it’s this: God yearns for us to come to Him, to come home, to be at rest, to know peace and love and joy, but we have a free will and choose like Frank Sinatra to do it “My Way.” Parenting has at times given me glimpses into God’s heart. After all, don’t I do to God what my son is doing to me? You betcha.

I’m sorry, Father. Help me to love my son unconditionally, the way You love me.

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