"May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!"
(NIV) Proverbs 23:25
Children, yes they can be difficult. When I ponder over the last 26 plus years with all my children in my life, I seem to focus on the days when things haven't gone right. The times that when I turned my head, "just for a second", tumbles and accidents happened. Times when I knew my instructions were quite explicit, only to have almost the direct opposite happen. Times when I said, "We are leaving now," only to have to wait another 15 minutes. Times when I know MY voice of reason was the correct one, but other choices were made. Times when I poured out my soul, all the energy I could have imagined, to not have a "thank you" in return. Have any parents out there felt the way I have felt? Have there been times of disappointment? Maybe you are a child who has given your parents moments such as the ones shared above. I know I have given my mom a few disappointing moments. Many times, these are the ones we focus on, THOSE difficult times, versus the other times in our lifetime.
As parents, life throws many challenges our ways. As humans, we tend to focus on the negative ones and remember those the most. As children, we have also challenged our parents in many ways (although I am sure I challenged my mother less than my brother - he, he). We challenge the ones we love. We challenged our parents and our children challenge us. Let's think, for just a minute, the numerous times we have challenged or disappointed our Heavenly Father. Not just a moment here or there, but every time we sin we have disappointed Jesus. Every time we don't follow His words, are not on time for His appointments, or turn our heads for "just a second" from Him, we are giving our Heavenly Father difficult moments, disappointing moments. Yes, these times can flood our memories, and many times, the guilt can consume us.
Yet, just like our parents here on earth, the love that comes from Jesus and the salvation He died for, gives us a reason to love each other no matter what. Challenges, yes they may be there. Yet LOVE is what conquers all. Love gives us reason to rejoice. Love gives us reason to be joyful. It is this love and feeling of joy that I felt this past Saturday when Krystina walked up to that stage to receive her diploma. All those terrible twos, independent nines, and stubborn teens led to wonderful twenties! During the last 21 years, we may have had our share of difficult times, but there have been more times of joy, of happiness, of wonder, of strength, and of peace. Through it all, the tough times and the good times, there has been LOVE and there has been Jesus.
So today, I would like us parents (or if we are a child), to remember some moments of love. Times with your children. Times with your Mom and Dad. Times when life was good and right. Times when LOVE penetrated everything. Hold those moments in your heart - even if just for a few minutes. Hold fast to the joy that comes from the parent/child relationship. I know, even as I write this, a flood of memories return - from small little moments of hand holding to large graduation moments. Each of them holds a special place in my heart. May these moments share a special place in your heart. Most of all, remember the very special place we hold in God's heart. That puts a smile on my face.
"Heavenly Father, so many times as parents and as children, we focus on the difficult and challenging times. They tend to stand out for us and hold close to our thoughts. Yet, help us turn our hearts to ones of rejoicing. May we hang on to the memories of joy, happiness, wonder, strength, peace and love. May those memories take hold of our hearts as we also remember the place we have in your heart - and how grateful we are for our salvation. In your name we pray. Amen."