Friday, October 30, 2009

My Prayer

I was leaving work today when I ran into a Christian woman with whom I rarely have an oppurtunity to speak.  She asked, as she usually does, about my children.  I was compelled to tell her about Steven and the problems he is having. 

He is locked in a pattern of sin, he is firmly in its grip.  I say this not out of judgement, but out of love for my son; I speak not with self-possession for I know I was not the best parent, but with assurance that I did not spare him the best Heavenly Father.  Steven was raised in The Word; he attended church and we were actively involved.  He was told from a very young age what it means to be a Christian, he was shown what it means to serve as Christ did.  I could dwell on the multitude of times I was a terrible example to my children, I could lose count trying to number the nights I closed my eyes in exhaustion rather than keep watch and pray for them.  I could make this about me and my faults. 

Number One: I've apologized for my shortcomings -- to God and to my children.  My children know that on my own, I am flawed, wretched, and painfully human.  My children also know the gift of God's strength and grace that lifts me up and makes me whole -- if I seek and surrender.  My children know I don't always do those things.  My children also know they don't always do so, either.

Number Two:  Satan would love for me to turn this into a self-serving, woe-is-me tale of Judi and her gaffes and foibles.  Truth is, it is about one of the Shepherd's sheep -- lost, following another to its own slaughter.  It is about Steven and his immediate need to seek and surrender.

What I told this woman on the walkway is this:

"I pray for peace for myself, and brokenness for my son."

Initially, that may sound incredibly selfish.  Why should I have peace?  Why would I wish ill on my own son?  But, it is out of a boundless, inestimable, "chasmic" love for my Heavenly Father and Steven, that I pray.  For me to have anything but peace after I have asked and received God's forgiveness, shifts the focus from God's grace and strength to my depravity.  My self-absorption negates His victory over sin in my life and renders me useless as His instrument of peace.

Secondly, brokenness is the path to being made whole. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).  It is brokenness that has caused so many of us to concede failure on our own, to subjugate ourselves to the power of Jesus Christ, to fall prostrate at His feet and cry out that we cannot do this of ourselves, for without Him we can do nothing! (John 15:5)  A loving mother prays for the surrender of her children to the will of God; a loving mother prays that her children will be stripped of those things that would keep them from falling in love with their Savior and dying to Him (Phillipians 1:21)

So, my son, it is out of love that I pray you will find yourself face to face with the fear, the hunger, the emptiness, the failure that would drive you straight into the arms of the One who knows and loves you best, the One you used to love and serve.

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