Recently I visited a friend in the hospital. I happened to enter through the Emergency Room and immediately caught a glimpse of what could have been myself, only younger. There was a young mom with a little boy, crying and holding his arm. My years of experience could have saved her some money. I had the arm diagnosed instantly. It is broken and it needs a cast, but be glad it isn’t hot summertime. My experience has taught me that broken bones are painful and can sometimes be avoided. I have also learned that broken bones grow back stronger.
Today, I’m mostly beyond broken bones, but I watched that mom wondering if she knew what lay ahead for her in the life of a parent. In the moment, his broken arm probably seemed like an insurmountable incident. I wouldn’t dare tell her that one day, looking back, this could seem easy. As her son grows up, there may be more things to break, though not all physical. He may have relationships which leave him brokenhearted, or his resolve may be weakened as he is tempted not to follow Christ, even though he was fervently taught Christian values. That made me wonder, if God grows broken bones back stronger, what about broken lives? Could it be when a life is broken beyond healing, God redeems and restores it with a stronger faith?
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Colossians 1:9-14
These verses gave me insight into how to respond when our children are in the Spiritual ER.
- Always pray. No matter what you see in the temporal, trust God with the eternal.
- Trust God to redeem. Pray that your children may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way.
- Believe God has a plan. Pray that your children will bear fruit, walk worthy, and grow in their knowledge of God.
- Trust that God is at work. Pray for their endurance and patience, giving thanks because God has qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints.
- Believe God is the true light. Trust Him to shine His light in the darkness
- Thank God for redemption and forgiveness. Pray for God’s redemption and forgiveness for your child’s sinful choices. Our children are never beyond our prayers. The sovereign, all-powerful God can go where you cannot.
It hurts to watch our children struggle and fail, stumble and fall. While we can’t assist the doctor with setting the broken bone, we can ask the Great Physician to heal a life. Pray unceasingly, asking God to do a mighty work. Our children are never beyond God’s reach.
About the writer:
Teri is passionate about teaching, writing, and ministering to fellow sojourners. She and husband, Ken, spend their days working in ministry and their evenings and weekends raising their last of five children at home, a fifteen-year-old son.