Can Parents in Pain Still be Grateful?

by | Oct 11, 2021 | what you can do | 0 comments

photo cred. Janet Plock

When a child suffers, their parents do too. When their suffering takes the form of substance abuse, mental illness, self-harm, suicide attempts, incarceration, or some other problem, being grateful sounds impossible. You may be raising your grandchildren. Traumatized, you dread the next crisis. What is there to be thankful for? No one knows how much longer this will last. Will they survive? Can you?

One morning my thoughts were drawn to a big reason I think we can still be grateful.

We can be grateful for every new day.

The sun rose again this morning. Night’s cover gave way to magnificent light. Darkness dissipated. Birds sang joyful songs announcing the birth of another day.

The sun gradually brightened, growing warmer as the yellow ball rose in the sky. Sitting on our front porch, all is quiet. Still. The lake on the other side of our cul de sac looks like a mirror reflecting the blue of the sky, white puffy clouds, a few cypress trees, and a gray heron’s elegant silhouette.

Surrounded by majestic beauty, I’m struck with an encouraging thought.

The dawn of every new day makes a bold declaration: There’s still time!

There’s. Still. Time.

Time for prayers to be answered.

Time for hearts to soften.

Time for sons and daughters to repent.

Time for recovery, restoration and reconciliation.

History isn’t over yet.

Clocks keep ticking forward. God’s offer of second, third, and fourth chances for wayward wanderers not to perish stands firm like an open hand extended outward. The King of the universe continues to propose a fresh start, another beginning, free for the taking.

Each new day is pregnant with possibilities, ripe with hope, bursting with promise.

Every sunrise is God’s yes that the world should go on a little longer.

There are more heartbeats for you, more breaths for me,

More of life to be lived for us all.

On this quiet morning something stirs in my soul—a sense of expectancy.

For one more day means God’s not finished.

The Creator has more work to accomplish, more plans to fulfill.

He’s not done.

Will the Sun Rise Tomorrow?

photo cred. Patti Miller

Only the Omniscient One knows the answer.

What I’m keenly aware of is this: Today is a sheer gift of mercy displayed, of kindness bestowed.  

What love.

What compassion.

What patience.

  • Divine patience keeps the earth rotating on its axis and the planets in their orbits.
  • Divine patience gives our offspring more opportunities to come to repentance.
  • Divine patience chooses to delay until more lost souls find their way home.

Dear parent, may the dawning of every new day fill you with expectancy, keep your faith alive, and renew your hope.

Never give up, friend. Never stop praying.

Who knows what this day will bring?

Encouragement from the Bible

He is patient with _________, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

(2 Pet. 3:9)

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright . . .

(Ps. 112:4a)

 . . .  the people living in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

(Matt. 4:16)

 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! . . .

where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.

(Ps. 64: 4, 8b)

Suggestion: Plan a day you can get up a little earlier to go outside and watch the sunrise. As the day begins, give thanks to God for his extraordinary patience and redemptive plans. He loves your child and all the prodigals of the world enough to allow one more day to dawn. There IS something we can be thankful for no matter how hopeless the situation appears. We can be grateful for every new day because it means there’s still time for our loved ones to experience the love and kindness of God.

Recommended Book

The Hope of a Homecoming by O’Rourke and Sauer



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