I want to share what I think will be an encouraging word for all of us who are in the thick middle of raising children. The thing about being in the thick of it all is that it can be hard to see the big picture. You've got the day-to-day realities of raising children right in front of your face, so close you go cross-eyed sometimes! It is hard to focus on the big picture when your eyes are completely focused on the moment at hand, isn't it? If this is sounding familiar, you may want to check out a previous post on the importance of being transfixed by the answer rather than by the problem, "Parenting in Grace: Identity."
So today I am wanting to pull us all back to take a quick look at the bird's eye view, allowing us to see the proverbial forest for a moment, and not just the few trees right in front of our eyes.
Doomed to Success
There have been times over the years of parenting that Stephen and I have been, I confess, overwhelmed by the needs and issues of our children. Raising and loving children who have had to deal with hardships and pain beyond anything either of us have even come close to dealing with has meant that as a family we have faced some pretty difficult times. In one of those times where I was choosing to be transfixed by the problem rather than the answer-- that is, rehearsing in my mind all the issues we were facing with multiple children and practically inviting fear to come make a home in my mind and emotions-- I remember thinking something like, "well, this looks pretty bad and if God doesn't come through, then we are in serious trouble!"
And almost simultaneously, I heard in my spirit this phrase, loud and clear:
"DOOMED TO SUCCESS."
It was like the Holy Spirit was saying, "in the world's eyes this list of issues would lead us to think that a child is doomed to failure, but I am telling you this day that because of My love, which is powerful, your children are, in fact, doomed to success."
It was such a jarring moment, a jarring phrase, and I knew it was the Lord.
And it is true, my fellow parents. All of our children who have been brought into the love of believing families, are doomed in that upside down way that is the Good News. A dear sister in the Lord shared on our Hope at Home facebook wall recently (if you haven't stopped by, be sure to check us out and "like" us!) how the Lord encouraged her to remember that He did not bring her children home and to this point in the journey to leave her now without help and power. How many of you have heard that same word from the Lord? I know I have-- many times. He hasn't taken us this far to leave us on our own.
I am reminded that God has promised us to work everything-- do you hear that?!-- EVERY THING-- together for good for those who love Him who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) That would be you and me, dear believer. That is His promise to us.
And on top of that, God assures us that these precious children whom He has called into our homes and into His kingdom are predestined to be conformed to be like Jesus-- talk about doomed to success!
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:29)
And, as if that is not enough, take this in:
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11)
And, He doesn't stop there! Would you say that the adoption of your son or daughter into your family was a Good Work begun by the Lord? So, how about this promise for giving the birds-eye-view:
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6)
I like what I heard in the sermon at our church from Rob Rufus this past Sunday--
We are Victims of Victory!
Heads we win; Tails...... WE WIN!
Do you love that as much as I do?! How filled with thanks and praise I am for our God, who would never set us up to fail, and who promises us that He will complete this amazing and beautiful good work that is the adoption of our children.