“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.”
~Psalm 119:176 (NRSV).
And that is exactly how Psalm 119 ends!
Imagine being a parent to a child—for whatever reason—that you cannot reach.
You go to all lengths to succour the child to the right manner of living and you never lose faith in this because it’s not about you—it’s about them.
It’s not hard to identify with God’s heart for the lost, because we feel it for the children we have whom haven’t found their way yet, and that’s on many different levels, not just the spiritual.
The truth is many of us have children we find difficult to reach (not that we want them to know or share that perception).
Having an Enduring Faith
Central to our purpose in parenting is standing by, praying for them, and acting when it’s appropriate, without doing it all for them.
To have the peaceable faith to restrain ourselves is on some levels easy; on others it’s hard.
It helps to know it’s the best we can offer to leave what contributions we can make and leave well enough alone apart from that. We quickly adapt to their needs with the right motive in tow.
Reaching into the lives of the lost is not too dissimilar.
Love Speaks a Universal Language
What has come as an unencumbered presence between two people we can now call “love,” for love is faith-held and not a skerrick demanding. Seldom does it even get concerned, though caring concern is its very character.
Love is beautifully balanced; poised, in fact, to deliver upon a fit-for-purpose need.
As God is love, so are we when there’s a reticence to any sort of barrier-of-rapport. This is genuinely us when we reach into lives—our children’s or otherwise—when we seek only the best for them. We could not introduce the unseemly, and we cannot be hurt. Such resiliency of love is beyond being hurt (recalling it’s about them, not us).
Reaching out is patience perfectly deployed, for it knows the risks of getting it wrong, but there is the courage to do what’s required anyway.
Finding for the Lost, Salvation, of Many Kinds in God’s Name
The above sub-title is our overall goal. It’s our sole purpose so far as this other person’s concerned. As it applies in the lives of our children, we pray. Whatever their needs we pray, and that feeds into our methods in the actual living of life with them.
Many times, however, we’re not to be the ones bringing them to this life. That’s for others and for other times—perhaps years or decades away. We trust God in this.
We’re grateful most of all that we have a snapshot into the heart of God—for the saving of those still running from the truth. Indeed, as we consider Psalm 119:176 we soon understand that even ‘the saved’ run from their truths every now and again.
We have faith in love—the universal language—for love perfectly remitted never fails, not ultimately. Love helps and does not harm.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.