Missed opportunities are all around us as adults, parents, and Christians. I almost missed mine a while back.
In my walk with Christ, I have learned to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit speaking to me, and the discernment God gives. (this has been tricky over the years…)
I once saw this saying on Facebook: Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone YOU RAISE.
That struck a chord in me, reminding me how we raise our children matters more than what we can see with our natural eye. They are not only our next generation of political & social leaders, but our spiritual leaders, too.
I pondered what else could I do? Should I read the Proverbs to them twice a day? Should I take them to church more? But over time, trails, and tribulation I have discovered that the best lessons are learned by showing them how to be the “body of Christ.”
We can teach them, take them to church and let our pastors preach to them, Sunday school, youth trips, Christian music, read and pray over them, (and I encourage all of this for the recipe to be whole) but at the end of the day we have to get to a point where we see our tribulation as an opportunity.
It’s in these moments Paul the Apostle wrote 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
In our weakness He is made strong…
I struggled for years to understand this verse, so I would just gloss over it, and move on to other scriptures I could somewhat understand.
But this verse…
How is he made strong in my weakness?
I’ll show you how in the past that became very true for me and my child.
This child owns an expensive piece of smart technology.
We had a friend of this child visiting with us, and they spent several nights with us over a short amount of time. I received a text from my child to say that this friend needed to go to our house and get their phone charger, and my child had given the friend a key to get in to retrieve the charger.
Immediately, I was quickened in my spirit that there were ulterior motives. (be sensitive to the spirit, discernment…)
I was taken back that I felt this way because I genuinely enjoy this child. But I hung onto the feeling and let my husband know what I was feeling and he met the child there, who was already leaving, and made sure the key was returned.
A week or so later my child realized the smart technology was missing. With other context clues in place, the decision was made to confront the friend and ask. This is hard. You never want to make accusations that are misplaced…it’s a delicate situation. The friend denied having the item. However, I was convinced they had it and my flesh was raging! I was WEAK in my flesh. I wanted to scream and yell at this child, I wanted to bash parents and make the biggest scene over my child being done wrong…but most of all I wanted my child’s item returned. I wanted to make them PAY for their wrong-doing…but I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to HUSH…be still!
As my child and I were headed home I was asked what our next step was.
So we prayed.
The following day my child received an early morning text from the friend who was absolutely heartbroken about their actions. They confessed they had the item.
My child got a little hot-under-the-collar with the “friend” and sent me the text messages.
This is where God said, “Misty, lead your child to extend grace they way I have extended grace to you two. You didn‘t pay for your sin…Jesus did.”
I texted my child to say, “We are going to show them grace. When someone is sorry and apologizes we forgive them, and love them through it. Your friend is lost, and lost people do lost things. We prayed for Holy Ghost conviction and it came. Praise God.”
The next morning in my prayer time I was thanking God that my child’s item was being restored the them, because that’s all I could see…my child had something stolen and it was being returned after we prayed.
I was so shallow in my fleshly thinking…God said, “So much more have I given you both. I gave you the opportunity to show someone grace who has never experienced grace. I taught you both that I am who handles your problems, casts all your cares on me, be anxious for nothing, rest in me. I am the one who restores what was lost. I restored what the enemy was attempting to take: your child’s friendship. When there is strife, unity does not exist, and in unity is where my spirit flows, and my ways are higher than yours.”
I just wept…it wasn’t about my child’s stuff. It was about my child’s friendship…about our witness…about our growth in our own faith, and about God giving me the opportunity to TRAIN my child how to be the light in a dark world, and the door is still open/the friendship still exist/the bridge isn‘t burned so my child may still be the very one who will lead this person to Christ.
Thank you, God, that when I am weak you are strong, and you order my steps.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world,” John 16:33