Parenting the Strong and the Brave
My God has never been a pushover parent. Kind and gentle
and present, yes, but never mollycoddling me or letting me get away with less than my best. He is tough and strong.
The God of gods, the mighty Lord himself, has spoken!
He shouts out over all the people of the earth
in every brilliant sunrise and every beautiful sunset,
saying, “Listen to me!”
With the rumble of thunder he approaches;
he will not be silent, for he comes with an earsplitting sound!
All around him are furious flames of fire,
and preceding him is the dazzling blaze of his glory.
You know, when you offer your life to be poured out as a drink offering before the Lord, a mere sprinkling on the altar of real sacrifice, you don’t expect him to accept your offer.
I do not rebuke you for your sacrifice, he says, which you continually bring to my altar.
But what do you want from me, God? I ask.
With each little improvement in Kiara’s condition, it seems less likely that we are going to lose her altogether. But what are we going to get back? In some ways it would be easier to suffer her loss than to watch her suffering now. Her improvement in consciousness is coupled with a new awareness of the difficulty and discomfort she is in. My heart.
I don’t think I have the faith to hope today. To hope for her full recovery. I also don’t have the faith to imagine handling a life impaired.
But I do have the faith to wait. To rest in the unknown. God only gives us grace for today. I cannot rush ahead of grace into tomorrow.
What is God asking of me?
Why don’t you bring me the sacrifices I desire?
Bring me your true and sincere thanks,
and show me your gratitude by keeping your promises to me.
Wow, God. You don’t mollycoddle at all, do you? But right now I am parenting Kiara exactly as you’re parenting me. I’m telling her that she can do this. That she needs to relax. That she has what it takes. That I am expecting her obedience and cooperation with the nurses and doctors.
Tough love, they call it. For the mothers and fathers of the strong and brave.
Thanks and gratitude is what he asks:
She is awake. Thank you.
She is brave. Thank you.
She is weaning off the ventilator. Thank you.
She has some movement in her right side as well. Thank you.
Her pneumonia is improving. Thank you.
We are loved and carried. Thank you.
My sacrifice for today, O Lord.