How will they get by in this scary world? What trials will they face? How will they make a living? How will they raise families in these tumultuous times? I know I can't shield them from pain and stress and heartache. It is life. Ugh.
I didn't realize how much I love my kids until they started moving out and having to do life on their own. Watching them stress, worry, and fret over decisions and circumstances is hard. Really hard. I've lost as much sleep over my grown kids as I did when they were infants. I'm not sure my heart can take it.
I wish I could give them my faith, the faith I have built by going through those tough times myself. I want to trade and give them my experience so they don't have to go through the pain of getting their own.
But I can't. And if I want them to grow in God, and I do, they'll have to work through the yuck like we've all had to. Though I wish I could, I can't short circuit the process. There's nothing I can do to make it easier.
But God planted a beautiful thought for me this week out of His Word.
Though I can't give them the faith I have or shield them from pain in the future, MY faith can provide stability for them. When life is tough and even when their own faith falters, my relationship with God can be a compass for them, a steady influence, a place to shelter them from the storms that will come their way.
He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a a refuge.
Yes, my faith is personal, but it ripples out to others. It shows. Because of that, I have a responsibility to work on my relationship to God for their sake, for my children and my neighbors and the passing acquaintance. My faith can be a beacon that says, "This is the way. This is Truth." When others can't see God or understand His plan, my faith can remind them and point them in His direction.
I support my kids in their endeavors. I offer advice and give them money and a listening ear. But the best way to help my kids is to continue to grow in my walk with God. Never underestimate the power of a good example or the appeal of God's touch on a person's life. I love how the Message puts it.
For the sake of my kids I've got to tend to my faith. I've got to continue growing and maturing and building that refuge, for them, and those I and my God loves.
Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.
2 Corinthians 3:3 (MSG)
Is your faith a refuge for the people in your life?