What do you need when your son’s drinking is beginning to damage his life and he won’t listen to your warnings? What do you need when your daughter is depressed, cutting herself and ends up in the psych ward for the umpteenth time, still refusing to accept help? What do you need when your son calls you from jail for the 3rd time begging you to bail him out “just one more time”? What do you need when your daughter tells you she is pregnant and she’s not sure who the father is? What do you need when your son tells you through tears that he thinks he is gay? What do you need when you see your daughter becoming way too thin and you can’t get her to see a counselor? What do you need when the psychiatrist tells you your son’s diagnosis is schizophrenia?
R E S T . When things are out of control and you realize you are powerless over the situation, after you’ve done all you know to do, all you can do is trust God and rest . . . in his love . . . in his peace . . . in his strength . . . in his presence . . . in him. When you can do that you have found victory. Then you discover that what you are going through will not destroy you. You can shift your focus. Refuse to panic. Accept that God has allowed this into your life for some reason you cannot see today. You and I, we can rest in God. In who he is and what he can do — for us and for our child. In this is our victory . . . and the most unexpected . . . joy.
The reading below is not my own. It is by Alan Redpath. After a major stroke he suffered from severe depression for a period of time. He speaks from experience. It is powerful and has helped me so much in my trials as a parent. I have found that the truths hidden within it apply to any difficult situation you may be going through that you have no control over – cancer, divorce, financial difficulties, etc.
THE REST OF VICTORY
THERE IS NOTHING – NO CIRCUMSTANCE, NO TESTING –
THAT CAN EVER TOUCH ME, UNTIL FIRST OF ALL,
IT HAS GONE PAST GOD AND PAST CHRIST, RIGHT THROUGH TO ME.
IF IT HAS COME THAT FAR, IT HAS COME WITH A GREAT PURPOSE
WHICH I MAY NOT UNDERSTAND AT THE MOMENT.
BUT AS I REFUSE TO BECOME PANICKY,
AS I LIFT UP MY EYES TO HIM AND ACCEPT IT
AS COMING FROM THE THRONE OF GOD
FOR SOME GREAT PURPOSE OR BLESSING TO MY OWN HEART,
NO SORROW WILL EVER DISTURB ME,
NO TRIAL WILL EVER DISARM ME,
NO CIRCUMSTANCE WILL CAUSE ME TO FRET.
FOR I SHALL REST IN THE JOY OF WHAT MY LORD IS.
AND THAT IS THE REST OF VICTORY!
Dear weary parent, I pray you can rest in “the joy of what (the) Lord is”. A little today and a little more tomorrow until it is more of your daily experience, no matter what is happening with your child. Who is God? What can he do for you? Focus on this. There is your joy. There is your victory.
This is one of my favorite Bible verses on this subject. It speaks of finding victory by choosing to be joyful in God, even in hopeless looking circumstances:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails (their main source of provision) and the fields produce no food . . . YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer (sure-footed in uncertain times), he enables me to go on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3: 17 – 19)