They're called sacred moments. Those unexpected pauses in time when the divine interrupts the human and you throw your head back and laugh out loud in wonder. I think I had one of those moments the other day.
The tank was full, and I was going home. Home to dad and mom, home to their arms, home to their reassurances that I am loved. Home to a love that says, "You're not a failure." More importantly, I was going home to their reminders of the faithfulness of the God we love; to ride out the darkest storms with us. I'm a granny myself, but age doesn't matter when you're talking about the unconditional love of godly parents. It's the same at fifty as it was at five.
I was burdened for my prodigal.
Knowing that the child you birthed battles emotionally naked, defenseless against the forces of evil is an ache of its own. It's a helpless feeling - and the desire to make it all ok wrestles with the wisdom of knowing that this precious person must reach the end of himself before he will bow to God. He will have to face the consequences of his choices.
Once God said of another Paul in scripture, “It is hard for you to kick against the pricks." It’s hard for my son, too. On my way to the restaurant where Paul had agreed to meet me I'd prayed, "God, this is the scariest thing I've ever done. Paul will be angry, and he might walk out of my life forever, but it's a risk I'm willing to take."
Paul had slipped into the booth a wary look on his face. "I want to know what's going on, son."
I could see in his eyes the mental melee taking place, How much do I tell her? What does she already know?
He spilled, and I thought, "If you were two years old, I'd . . ."
But, he's not two years old - he's a grown man. I calmly expressed my concerns, and then instead of scolding I'd clasped his hands in mine and whispered, "I adore you, Paul. You are mine. I love you, and nothing you do will ever change that love. God has given me a promise concerning you son, and I'm not giving up."
The miles passed by as I remembered those hours. I fumbled through my box of comfort music, and slipped a disk into the player. First one tear, and then another traced its way down my cheek as the words settled over my heart, "God will make a way when there seems to be no way; He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way . . ."
Just a few years before I'd found comfort on this same road. In a raging storm, I’d heard the words of another song, "There's a boy in his mother's prayers, cause lately she's been aware that he's been drifting to far from the fold. And, she's beginning to believe, the boy is getting out of reach. Weary mother, don't you worry anymore. 'Cause the boy is reachable, he's reachable. And to God he's visible, and all things are possible. If the Lord could reach His hand of love through time, and touch a poor sinner's heart like mine, the boy is reachable- oooh, he's reachable."
Not Much has Changed Since Then
I hadn't seen much progress since then, still I struggled to believe. Isn't that what faith is all about - believing in the face of the impossible? As my thoughts turned heavenward, I found myself interceding for my boy - first with words that were measured and contained, then with tortured sobs. "Lord, save my son. Show him Your glory. Turn his heart to You and do it in such a way that Paul will know that it is You that is turning his heart."
One mile, ten, thirty and still I pressed in knowing that this weary mother was having audience with Almighty God."You are faithful. You can do anything. I believe."
I wept silent tears; I pled at the top of my voice; I agonized in the depths of my soul.
And, then it happened. Scripture describes it as a peace that passes understanding. It didn't make sense. Nothing had changed; Paul was still rebelling. But, I had peace. The burden lifted. A tiny bubble of joy made its way from deep inside and exploded in praise from my lips.
I laughed out loud in wonder shedding tears of a different sort - cleansing, healing tears of praise. "Oh, my God," I cried, "You are holy. You are majestic. You are faithful. You can do anything. I believe."
I think God laughed with me, "Ahh, she's getting it."Then I think He cried.
I rounded the corner, tear-weary, and pulled into the driveway. Through that door were my dad and mom. I still wanted to feel their arms, to hear their reassurances, to revel in their love. I needed them just because of who they are - not because of what they could give me. I'd come in search of peace, but had already found it on I-76.
I believe that the God who fashioned my son into His own image knows exactly how to draw him near. I believe that even when I cannot see God working, He is. I believe that I can trust Him with this one who means so much to me. I believe that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous mom availeth much. I believe that God will turn the world upside down to turn the heart of my son to Himself.
I watch. I wait. I pray. I believe.
© Ronda Knuth