Tuesday, May 14, 2013

'Like lambs among wolves.'

Luke 10:3, 5 (NLT)

“Go on your way. Listen! I send you out like lambs among wolves. … When you go into a house, say that you hope peace will come to them.”
I don’t want my kids to be wolves, but neither do I want them to be slaughtered like lambs. I’ve got quite a few years to worry about the whole “sending them out” business, but now is the time for establishing the foundations on which they’ll build their adult lives. It’s probably best to accept and acknowledge the world is a fairly brutal place and they’ll always, to some degree, be subject to forces far beyond their control. But there’s no reason I can’t do my best to get them ready for life beyond the walls of our home.

A greater fear than failing to prepare them adequately is for me to screw up badly enough that I’m turning out the wolves and contributing to a bad deal for the lambs. It might be unhealthy for me to put this kind of pressure on myself, but it seems to come with the territory of parenting. Now they’re fairly young and I’m worrying if I can do enough to build them up. Give me a decade when the oldest will be out of high school and I’ll just be looking in the past and wondering what I could have done better along the way. I have a sneaking suspicion the worrying never goes away, it’s just a matter of shifting focus.

This fretting, which is not constant, but regular enough for me to notice and consider it a going concern, is a big reason why I have come to put such a priority on peace. Peace of mind, peace between siblings, being at peace with things I can’t control, praying for these and other types of peace for those going through turmoil — I have a lot of questions about God and the way the world works and what we’re all doing here and why we can’t seem to get along. But one thing I’m sure of, something I know I’ve felt on many occasion, is a peace that defies logic, a peace that can only come from the trust I placed in my creator and redeemer.

This peace doesn’t fix problems. It doesn’t heal the sick or put money in my bank account or repair my broken car. But it calms the voices in my head, brings me to a place of rest where I can almost see the worldly concerns fade into the background. I know that when it matters — the singular time in my existence when it actually matters — God will bring me home. Nothing can be more important, and feeling that belief to my core is what allows me to construct the positive relationships I have with other people.

Can I raise children who are lambs among wolves and brave enough to forge ahead regardless? Can my boys not just offer the hope of peace but actually be advocates for peace in their scopes of influence? Anything is possible when God is involved, and that faith is what allows my worries and concerns to take a back seat. I can’t repress them entirely, nor do I feel I should. But when the intensity increases and I near a breaking point, that’s when the peace of God makes all the difference. Every time.

A prayer for May 14:

Lord, send me out like a lamb among wolves. Use me to offer hope for peace to those in need. Give me the strength to answer your call for me, and help me teach my children what it means to seek your will. Amen.

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