Psalm 25:2 and Psalm 27:13-14 – O my God, in thee I trust … I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord … be strong, and let your heart take courage …
Recently I was talking with one of my neighbours over the back fence as we hung out our laundry. Suddenly the conversation plunged from trivialities into one of those deep places that are always there, just under the surface. She told me about her family, four beautiful talented adult sons and daughters, and every one of them in serious trouble in their lives. "My whole family!" and she put her head down on the fence and burst into tears. I was at a loss to comfort her or to say any wise words. Just a hug. Being a parent is something we never get over.
In times when we reminisce, going back over the years, how often we conclude with thoughts of regret: "if I had only…" or "how I wish I had done differently…" and we are overcome with a terrible sense of failure. Our parenting has been inadequate. We would give anything to have another chance, and we are troubled and blame ourselves for the misfortunes of our children.
But there is a better way. We have done what we thought best; we have given what we could. We cannot change the past. But we can bring all these things to God, who holds our lives in his hands, and ask him to make up for what we lacked, because our God can overrule even our mistakes and failings, and bring triumph out of tragedy.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, take all our emptiness and our inadequacies and fill up for what we lack. Restore our faith and courage and joy to your people who turn to you in their distress. Amen.