Sometimes, when you hear an idea, you have to write it down before you forget it. I’ve often thought of journals and blogs as small jail cells that holds your prisoner safe until they are ready for release.
Tonight I joined with some old, young friends who I worked with in another life when I was young. Our connection was mysterious and spiritual. They were teenagers then and I was very young in the ministry. But 25 years later, here we were gathered around a table marveling at the fact that I was ministering to their children at a kid’s crusade. Sometimes, it’s worth getting older just to have these serendipitous encounters like this.
But, I digress….
One of the girls is a prosecutor for a local district attorney’s office. She was lamenting her role a prosecutor because of the inherent nature of the job to convict people. She talked about how she much more preferred the role of defense attorney because it’s more towards her tendancy to show grace and mercy. She recounted a story where she was feeling especially ‘guilty’ about sending a college student to jail for a convicted crime. In the parking lot, she bumped into another old(er) friend of ours, Dave Dunn, the pastor of the same church where all these kids grew up together. In that moment he spoke the most profound truth to her.
He recounted the story of Jonah. Do you remember what happened when the sailors pulled lots to see who among them was causing the storm? They tried to throw everything overboard EXCEPT Jonah. They didn’t want to have to send him to a watery grave. Even after Jonah insisted they throw him overboard, they hesitated. But, in fact, they were keeping Jonah from his own redemption; not to mention that of the people of Ninevah too. What they thought was mercy was actually injustice. The parallel is that in doing her job, this young lawyer may have had a part in God’s purpose for this young college student that might change his life forever. Sometimes your break down is your break through.
Such wisdom. I think this is a truism in many ways, but none more so than how we try and protect our children from failure. How often do we step in and thwart the will of God for our loved ones when we ‘bail them out’? I’ve always said the hardest part of parenting is letting your children fail. The lessons must be learned and sometimes they must be learned the hard way.
Isaiah 55: 8,9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts
Tempted to step in and save the day? Step back, take a breath and let God be the hero.