Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When Your Children Suffer

    There is nothing more difficult for parents than to watch there children suffer.  As parents we want the best for our children. We want them to live full, happy and healthy lives.We never want them to hurt or go through difficult times of suffering and heartache.  It is part of that protective  nature God gives us in caring for them. As mothers and fathers we want to shield them from danger or anything that will harm them. When they are young it seems so much easier to protect them because we have more control over where they go and what they do. As we slowly release them into the world we have to relinquish that control and it then becomes more difficult to oversee and protect them from this world and all the evils in it.  
     As hard as it is to accept, our children will suffer and go through difficult trials in their lives.
It is part of the fall of Adam and Eve and the sinful world we live in. "Why is it happening to them?" has been a question I have often asked the Lord in the last 5 years as we have watched our precious daughter and son in law go through much suffering and heartache. "Why Lord would you allow such suffering to happen to two people who desire nothing more than to serve you and love you with all their heart?' I just don't understand?" I admit that often times I have cried out to the Lord in this way hoping for some kind of answer. I also have asked the Lord to take it from them and let us suffer instead. "It just doesn't seem fair". These are all normal responses  as parents so don't allow guilt to set in. The Lord knows our heart and hears our cry.
      Personally, after many tears over the years, these truths from Gods word have been my greatest comfort; "Count it all JOY my children when (your children) encounter various trials , knowing that the testing of their faith produces faith and faith patience. And let patience do its perfect work that they may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1: 2-4.  "Ok Lord so I get that you are perfecting their faith and that you are going to use all of this in their lives for good but when will it end? "How much more can they endure or we endure of watching them suffer trial after trial?" I wish I could tell you that the Lord has given me an end date or answer to the WHY of it all, but I can't. What I can do though is share with you  what the Lord has taught me and is continuing to teach me through His word.  For instance the verse " The joy of the Lord is your strength." Neh. 8:10 began to resonate in my heart in a way I couldn't explain.  His "PEACE that passes all understanding" continues to fill my heart when I doubt what the Lords plan is in all of this. I have begun to see all that has happened and continues to happen in their lives as part of Gods divine and ongoing plan to bring HIM glory!  Knowing that as hard as it is, trials, in Gods eyes are allowed to perfect our faith , all the while molding and conforming us more and more into His likeness in preparation for eternity! There is a bigger picture and plan beyond what we can see that is unique to all who suffer for the cause of Christ. So with all that said, we as parents should welcome the trials and suffering in our children's lives, as backward as it sounds, trusting that it is all apart of Gods purposeful plan for them. We don't have to like it but we do need to pray, help, love and encourage our children in every way possible, all the while trusting in Gods divine sovereignty over every area of their lives. Lord, help us to see all suffering as miniscule in comparison to what you suffered on the cross for us , trusting that our children  are always under the canopy of your grace and love.

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