Constraint…

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My five-year old son had his glasses broken by a bigger kid on the playground during Sunday school. What appeared to, at first, be accidental, soon seemed to have been done with intention in anger. There were no witnesses. An apology is not forthcoming.

My friend is learning how to let go of her teenage daughter. Within her daughter there are insecurities and hormones. And without, there are unkind peers, school pressures, and other adults who don’t seem to cherish her daughter’s growing spirit as they should.

It’s uncomfortable being a mother.

We are called, like Abraham, to offer our beautiful children on the altar of an unjust world that may or may not love them, value them, or protect them. That altar means pain. And it is a very scary place to stand, watching your children lay on it.

But for Abraham there was reprieve. Please, Lord, let there be reprieve! And don’t I already know the end of the story? Don’t I already have full assurance that a sacrifice was provided in time?

Sometimes. Sometimes, I am full of this assurance. Sometimes, I am brim filled with faith and obedience.

But sometimes… Yes, sometimes I’m just treading water in doubt, frantically trying to grab my kids back to me where I think it’s safe, to the justice I decree. Because it must be safer in my arms than God’s, right? More just?

But if I believe the story for me I must believe it for them. There is a sacrifice that spares our children. There is a sacrifice that means life for them, not death.

And, let’s not forget that this guy has a vested interest. He’s the Heavenly Father. He loved them before I did. He knows the pangs of parenting, the pangs of letting go, and watching your child suffer.

Would I be able to trust Him so well with my children if he hadn’t, so willingly, given me His?

I must let my children be out there, on an altar, a living sacrifice to God. Where would He have them be? Where would He have them go? Through what circumstances would He have them endure?

Praise the Lord for the constraints of His grace. For, that which ties me to His system of justice for my children is the same that sets me free from that worry that leads to death.

“O, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”

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