This post on grace touches a very personal spot in my heart right now. It's about my son ...
Two Sundays ago, my pastor/father-in-law was continuing his sermon series on Paul. The scripture reference was Acts 23:1-11. The scenario here, in a nutshell, was that Paul put much thought and prayer into his actions to travel to a certain place. He very much thought this was where the Lord wanted him to be. The result? He was thrown in prison for upsetting the people there. The Lord appeared to Paul that night in the prison cell and said (essentially), "Don't worry Paul. Be of good cheer. I'll take care of this." Such comforting words. Paul did what he felt led to do. It ended up really messy. But the Lord knew Paul had good intentions and assured him that all would be well. Grace.
I find myself in a similar boat these days ...
When I was growing up, Heaven always seemed like such an abstract concept and I was really uncomfortable with the idea of death and loved ones being gone forever. Knowing that Evie's death would forever be a part of our family's story, I was really hoping to use her story to make Micah more comfortable with the idea of heaven and death than I was as a kid. And so, I would often talk about Evie and how she was in Heaven with Jesus. And Micah would listen and knew the facts, "Ebie's bye-bye to Jesus." And all was well.
But then, one day I was talking to Micah about his baby sister and he started acting funny. I asked him what was wrong. "Ebie's scawy." His answer threw me totally off guard. "No honey, Evie's not scary. Evie is your special sister. We love her very much. She just lives in Heaven with Jesus." And then these words exited his mouth, "Heaven is scawy. Jesus is scawy." !?!?!?!? I responded, "No honey. Jesus isn't scary and Heaven isn't scary. Jesus is so nice and loves us and Heaven is a wonderful pl- ..." I trailed off, realizing all at once what was going on in my little boy's brain. Evie and Jesus and Heaven were "scawy" to him because, in his mind, Jesus was an actual physical person that could take him to an actual , physical place called Heaven where he would never see mommy again, just like Evie.
As a Christian mommy all I wanted was for my son to have an affectionate picture of Jesus and Heaven in the hopes that his little heart would be drawn to the Savior as early as possible. But in my zealous approach I forgot that my son is still only a toddler with a very concrete view of the world. Abstract ideas like heaven and death are completely lost on him. And sometimes not just lost on him ... they are scary.
Just like Paul, I did what I, in my human mind, thought was the right thing. I talked to my son about Jesus and life after death, not realizing for some time that I might be choking the life out of the very seed I was trying to plant.
I'm very much like George. George was a good little monkey, and always very curious. The problem with George though, is that he gets so caught up in his adventures that he makes a huge mess of things. But, no matter what mess he makes, his story always ends well.
That's what I need.
I need the Lord to come into this situation and give grace - favor - in an area where my humanity has gotten the best of me yet again. I need Him to stoop down low as I cry over my sleeping son and plead that I haven't undone the thing I so desperately want for him and say, "Don't worry. Be of good cheer. I've got this."
The Lord knows my humanity. He knows that sometimes even my very best efforts, even when I have been praying for guidance, can be unsuccessful. And He extends grace anyway. My son is in His hands, and He will not let my well-intentioned efforts and heartfelt prayers return void.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father ... that Christ may dwell in Micah's heart through faith ... and that he may be able to comprehend ... the love of Christ.
Please Jesus ...