I am a mama of two boys and I had the joy of having dinner and coffee with my adult son earlier this week. He was asked to be a guest teacher for some high school students in a class on Monday and really enjoyed it. The material was interesting to discuss and the students seemed engaged and responded with questions but his favorite part came near the end of class after he told his story.
He grew up here in Frisco and had big plans that involved a pretty exciting career in New York. He even received a special invitation during his freshman year in college to come to New York the following summer for a taste of this dream life. He did not get to take that trip. Suddenly, life changed. And in that change the path he thought he had for his future dissolved before his very eyes. Preparations ceased, dreams faded and he was faced with grieving a huge loss and living through painful circumstances.
As he continued with his story, he shared how truly grateful and content he is to God for his life now. Nothing happened the way he planned, but at one point he chose, with God’s help, to surrender his plans and embrace where God had allowed him to be. God had been with him into the hard times, led him through them and did not leave him. During this season, God had loved him, shaped him and transformed his heart. He could see where God was leading him and he embraced it with both arms. Gods grace and faithfulness helped my son remember where to put his trust.
There is much more to this story than our blog space allows but suffice to say that he has been surprised to live out many of his dreams from those youthful days but in a much different way than he could have anticipated. His life is so much richer than it would have been had he stayed on his previous path and he shared that with the high school students.
Joy is of the Lord. It is something we can receive from him as we trust him in the wilderness parts of our lives. One of the recent chapters in our Lent study The Psalm on the Cross takes us through verses four and five of Psalm 22:
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted ad were not put to shame.
The study reminds the reader that even as God delivers us, it does not mean that “everything works out for our immediate benefit and according to our perfect plans…being delivered meant that God would never leave them.” The chapter is titled “Trust” and it asks some provoking questions including “What past experience with God is helping you to trust him today?”
I have my own answers to that question and I am thankful that I know my son does too. I am also grateful for how God is speaking these reminders into my heart during this season of Lent. Like the Israelites, I confess I can be a “people who forget” and it is in turning to him that I am restored and redeemed every time.
Its not too late to start (or pick back up on) a Lenten discipline. Whether you are giving something up that is getting in the way of your relationship with God, or taking on a study (or both), know that we are available to pray for you and encourage you as you seek the Lord. We can trust in him.