Family Thoughts

Published on Jul 24th, 2013 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0

The last couple of weeks I have had the privilege of being with my oldest daughter and her husband.   God has recently blessed them with a little girl named Lillian.  What a wonderful joy it was to be able to be in the waiting room as God brought this new life into this world.  There was so many blessings and lessons that God taught us through this time.  I was amazed by my wife whose love for Lillian and Sophia (my other granddaughter) was such a reminder to me of the passionate love my Savior has for me.

 

Due to my visiting my daughter, I did not take the time to write this blog.  I want to thank the thousands of people who shared with me how much they missed my little musings.  OK, I will admit, not one person said a word.  So I take keyboard in hand, once again, to pour out my heart to my mom…if she decides to read this week.

 

Since only my mom reads (come on Dad – double my following) let me continue to speak of how God has blessed me through my family.  My youngest daughter is in the Dominican Republic this week on a short term mission’s trip.  I am grateful that not only did she desire to be used by God in this way but that one of her major concerns about taking this trip is that she did not want to leave her friend, Dr. Zeke.  Chelsea is helping Dr. Zeke establish his dental practice and she truly has a great desire for him to succeed.  I appreciate her desire to serve others…even at her job.  For those of you who know Chelsea, please pray while she is away….for the Dominican Republic.

 

Lastly, this week marks the last week my son and I will be ministering together.  Nathan and Lydia have accepted a position at a church in New York.  While I am truly excited for them and am asking God to bless their ministry up there, I will miss the ministry that God has given them here with us for the past several years.  I always thought it was not a great idea for Pastors to work with their sons.  There certainly are some dynamics that make it difficult but I have learned that the dad receives far more benefit than the son ever does.  It has been good for my heart to see our people giving thanks to Nathan and Lydia for how God has used them here at JBC.

 

Lest you come away from this thinking it was a dad bragging about his kids let me assure you that any spiritual good that is happening in my children is solely a work of the almighty God.  The truths of the gospel teach us that it is only by faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross that new life comes.  God has chosen to work in the life of my children and for that I am eternally grateful.  He has given them faith and He has promised that the work that he has started in them will be accomplished by him.  Whenever I become worried about my kid’s walk with Christ, I look to the work that God has done in my life and how that work has not been accomplished by my works of the flesh but by his grace and mercy.  That truth gives me great peace and joy as I realize that my children are in his hands.

 

What I find strange is that I now find myself more fearful for my grandchildren than I ever was for my children.  As I meditated and sought God for wisdom concerning this the Holy Spirit convicted my heart.  I did not worry so much about my children because I thought, at the time, that I was in control and if I just did things properly…they would be ok.  My lack of worry was simply an arrogance that I could raise my children properly and an ignorance of what all could go wrong.  After all, you don’t worry about what you are clueless about.

 

Now…I am not in control (not that I ever really was) but my children are in control of my grandchildren.  I do not trust my children to do things as well as I thought I was doing (aren’t we all like that…we drive better than our kids, cut the grass better, etc).  I have seen and learned about what can go wrong and I recognize the lack of knowledge that is present in all young parents.  Thus I worry about my grandchildren.  What the Holy Spirit has revealed is my lack of faith in my heavenly Father.  I have had to go back to the truth of the Gospel (my inability, God’s grace) to finally begin to realize that the spiritual realities that my children now possess were not a result of my amazing spiritual parenting (because I failed far more than I succeeded) but they are present due to his amazing grace.  That knowledge of his amazing grace, and my lack of control, has led me to great peace concerning my grandchildren.  My children may not make the same mistakes or sin the same way I did as a parent but they will make mistakes and they will sin.  But God, by his grace is doing a work in their lives and Lord willing, he will do a work in the lives my grandchildren.  The more I meditate on his grace and authority, the more I relax.  All things are in his hands and there are no better hands to be in.

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