I am learning that God will use whatever means He can to open my eyes to my own heart.
My daughter turned thirteen this week.
Thirteen years ago that morning, I was seeing my only daughter for the first time – before the nurses whisked her away to clean her up. When they brought her back, I was convinced they had scrubbed most of the hair off her head! In reality, it was probably only that newborn cheesy stuff that clings to their skin. But she was pretty bald for a while . . . until her darling curls kicked in.
Now she is a teenager. And on the day our children begin the teenager road, I give them something special. It’s my wish for them for their lives. Printed up to where they can hang it or stash it away until they are thirty. . . or fifty.
I clicked on the document to open it up and began to read what I had written back when our oldest son turned thirteen. And my heart was dealt a blow. It hurt.
This is was what was written.
My wish for you is that:
You will always have a heart that clearly sees how sinful you are . . . and how merciful God is. A heart that is continually broken before a mighty God.
God would provide just enough hardship to keep you constantly clinging to Him and His promises. God knows what “just enough” is for you. But whatever He takes you through, He will have a purpose.
You would protect the borders of the church. Love the church, for Christ is coming back for her someday. Put on your armor, take up your sword, and don’t let the enemy breach the walls. It’s up to you, my child.
You would have friends who have the courage to tell you when you’re wrong. And that you have the humility to hear them. Precious is the friend who will be the iron that sharpens iron.
You would daily hear the cry of the damned souls. This should be your aim in life: to bring the Gospel to a world that is heading to hell.
God would give you a discerning spirit against false teachers and their teachings that already are entering the church. And that He would provide an abundant measure of courage to face them.
You would never be a lukewarm Christian. Never be ashamed to stand up for your beliefs, even if it means ridicule from your peers – friends and foes alike.
You might find love, joy, and fulfillment in a marriage such as your father and I have. But if your marriage is a troubled one, I pray that you will be faithful anyway. Never break a vow – not to God, your spouse, your family, or your church.
Ask God for a love of the Scriptures – and then make yourself a guardian to those holy words. Don’t wait for someone else to take up the fight. God needs you right now.
I pray that you would do all you can to stop the devil in his tracks. Some might call you radical or even crazy, but remember whose side you’re on and that the last chapter of the book has already been written.
Last of all: My wish for you, my child, is that you will be found faithful when God calls your name.
I had wished all this for my children. But oh how much I had failed in doing it myself.
On the day I found this, I had been crying out to God for what felt like discouragement in my heart. There were so many bad things happening, the world is going crazy with sin and selfishness, my heart doesn’t feel like it wants to be here at times . . . I long for heaven where there will be no temptation, no standing on guard day and night, no more divisions and ruined marriages. I was tired and didn’t feel like fighting.
Yet I asked Him to search my heart. And then He showed me the words I had written years ago.
My heart felt smitten. Yes, I had failed in always seeing myself as the sinner that I am. I had not wanted to hear when those friends came to correct me. How many times had my own words began breaking down the borders of the church, rather than protect them?
And so often I had wanted to put down my sword and take a rest. The world and the devil looked so big at times that I wanted to crawl in my corner and give up. I had wanted to protect myself, yet when did Jesus ever protect Himself?
But even though my heart felt shame, yet I rejoiced because the desires for these wishes are there, maybe even stronger than before. I may never attain them, but I will keep trying – until I see His face.
My God knew what I needed to pick me up out of the pond of discouragement and set me back on the path. He knew my hearts desires, even though my flesh was weak. This Creator of the universe knew how tired my faith was . . . yet He didn’t criticize.
Instead, He picked up my sword and placed it in my hands. It’s not my turn to go Home yet . . . so I will keep on fighting.
It is because of Him I am able to stand.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” Jude 1:24
You are welcome to download the printable version of the “wishes” by clicking here.
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