Monday, August 8, 2016

Hard Stop

Eighteen years ago we began a journey. The journey has been filled with great moments of joy and deep moments of sadness. Like any journey times surfaced when we realized how unprepared we were for what we were facing. Other experiences reminded us that we had no clue what in the world we were doing or how we were going to get through the storm in one piece. The journey never ends, but oh how it changes. This past Saturday we learned that there are some "hard stops" on the journey. Until that day we had always been able to hold onto the truth that we had a little more time to make things right. If we took a wrong turn, the turn could be corrected. If we made a winning play, we could celebrate the victory. None of those stops were "hard stops" though. Until Saturday.

Saturday we took Daniel to college to move him in as a freshman. I suppose that this day is one of the ones we have been preparing for over the last eighteen years. We knew it was coming. We just didn't know how soon it would arrive. We have done what we learned from the Lord about training Daniel to be a Godly young man. I can't say we have always done the right things, said the right words, disciplined the right way, or chosen the right paths. I can say that we have prayed and asked the Lord to protect him. The Lord reminded me Saturday evening that He loves Daniel even more than I do.

After we left campus, we got a text from Daniel that he had found a guy we met in line waiting to get him checked in and invited him to join him for church the next morning. Daniel asked me to send him the college minister's number at one of the local churches. He texted him to let him know they would be there. Sunday morning we learned that he had gotten up early, gone to Sunday School and worship, and in his own words ..... He loved it. Blog posts have been spotty at best, but if you've read any of the history of our journey, you will know that these last three years have been the toughest of all as far as church life goes. How refreshing to experience the reality of ...

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases' his mercies never come to an end' they are new every morning' great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

"... And on this rock I will build my I church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

A few years ago we were introduced to a philosophy called "The Orange Strategy." The premise was that with the church and the family working together we could grow kids who stick with their faith long after they leave home. Some argue that Orange is another program. I contend that Orange is a process grounded in God's word. Many more days lie before us and there are "many miles to go before [we] sleep." The next leg of the journey has taken off, though, and the Lord - once again - has demonstrated His great faithfulness. Chip Ingram once said that the goal of parenting is to raise kids who will transfer their dependence from us over to God. Scripture teaches this truth boldly. We will continue to "trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding." That's the best way because our own understanding would have us keeping Daniel at home for the rest of life. God's plan is much better.

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