Some children take off sooner and faster than others. My little (6’ 6”) brother is 13 years younger than me. One of the bigger regrets I have is not playing a larger role during his young years. I was a teenager, totally focused on my own struggles, issues, and needs, and saw him as a toy or a mascot to use as needed. My brother had many ups and downs, almost from the get-go as he got kicked out of Catholic school in kindergarten on Ash Wednesday because he didn’t want dirt on his head. My parents tried to raise him to greater heights, but nothing seemed to work. If the race had ended in his mid twenties, in jail and on his way to rehab, he would have been judged a loser … a failure.
Are you a parent of a low-flying child? Let me pass on a word of encouragement. That brother made a shift in his late twenties and is now, by anyone’s standards, a high-flying success. Husband in a healthy marriage, father of a great family, master’s degree, teacher and mentor to disadvantaged teens, successful high school football coach, and get this, an inner-city high school disciplinarian. Yes, God has a great sense of humor. Most importantly, he is a man of deep faith who always finds time to let the Lord’s light shine onto those around him. At 36 years of age, he holds the admiration and praise of all those who know him.
Too often, we put premature finish lines on situations … judging them before all the data is in. God isn’t bound by time; He is incredibly patient and all-powerful, and has a flair for the dramatic, especially where timing is concerned. Our nature is one of impatience, impulsivity, and I need to know now. We don’t tolerate the uncomfortable feelings and want solutions and pain-free living now. We reach for quick but destructive solutions. Don’t fall into Satan’s trap of judging yourself, others, circumstances, or especially God, prematurely. You will be disappointed and lose out on many “miracles” of life.
Today, if you feel like a failure, or are disappointed, anxious, sad or fearful, examine whether you are imposing a premature finish line on a situation. This puts God in a box and closes the curtain on the play at intermission. Realize there is more of the show, game, path, or race left and seek God’s guidance for the next phase of the situation. If you follow Him, trust Him, and practice patience, He will reveal a glorious second act in the drama you were ready to leave prematurely. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, I pray that all parents reading this devotional receive from You wisdom and patience as they raise their children. Help them to trust Your providence and grace, and to let go of their timelines for their children’s lives. Help us all use Your Son as an example as You patiently waited for His time to come. Father, help us listen to You and obey You in this great calling of being a parent. Then in all areas, help us grow in patience. Help us to see Your big picture, not to prematurely judge the small picture of our life and bail on You and Your plan for us. I pray in the name of the most patient One, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
“My time has not yet come.”
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.