How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. Psalm 104:24-28 (NIV)
An e-mail from my friend, Vicki, http://amarkonmywall.wordpress.com/ and a conversation heard on the radio http://thejoyfm.com/article.asp?id=1346527&spid=19049, have me thinking. About my youngest son, Vicki said, “Over the last few weeks I’ve though about how he “unfolded” over time and I remembered those same feelings of being sort of desperately at a loss as to how to guide a child who was struggling. We’re more than blessed that ours are coming about/came about in time to establish themselves as wonderful productive and gifted people in their own right. Nice, huh?” Yes, Vicki, you are so right. As I have said before to my dying breath, my mission is to encourage parents who think that there is no hope that there is always hope even with the most prodigal of children. I was reminded of it again when I heard the three morning announcers on the radio station I listen to read aloud letters to their oldest child. The theme was the question, “Did I do enough?” Did I teach you enough? Did I spend time with you enough? Did I encourage you enough? My response would be, “No, you didn’t. But, it is still okay.” You see, even a parent who invests every waking moment into their child is still going to fail because we are not roboparents, we are human. We make mistakes. But, it is such a freeing feeling when you realize that you don’t have to be perfect because the One who is perfect has it all under control. God, who created the mighty beasts and the tiny microorganisms, knows what is absolutely best for our children. When He promised in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for good,” He knew that there would be some bad come into the lives of those we love most, sometimes, even at our own hands. In Philippians 1:6, Paul wrote, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” It’s also true for our children. The leviathan pictured above was given to the daughter of some dear friends. I gave it to her as a reminder of how proud we are of her and our commitment to pray for her. N. has a good head on her shoulders. She is not afraid to buck the system, going against the flow of peer pressure. She sees a clear path for her future, one of service and ministry, and has a plan to get there. She is making wise choices. Yet, her parents are still worried. Worried that their influence upon her will wane. Worried that a friend’s choices might bring harm to N. Worried that the darkness in the world around her will suck her in despite her best intentions. So I hope the little dinosaur is also a reminder to her parents. The LORD, Who cares for the great leviathan frolicking in the sea, also cares for their child who is more precious to them than life.