If you're just joining me in this post, you might want to go to the following link to read what has led up to this current post: http://www.janfrank.org/blog/2015/3/29/have-i-failed-my-children
I have been journaling my prayers since 1989. I have about 66 journals in my office, full of prayers, praises, and petitions. I'm not one to journal every day, but I do try most days to take time to read my devotional, Jesus Calling and pray. My prayers lately have seemed to focus on my family, particularly my adult children. If you were to go through the pages of my previous journals, you would find similar themes contained in my current journal. But, there seems to be an urgency, an intensity that pervades my intercession these days, in a way I can't fully explain.
I was lamenting to the LORD about how long I've prayed for certain requests for my children and how weary I am of praying. Here's a sampling:
"I'm weary of waiting, Lord--is that okay for me to say to You? I have prayed and fasted and cried so many tears. I have claimed verses and requested prayer for years. I have believed You and testified to Your goodness and I have had a thankful heart knowing it will come to pass in Your time...Jesus, my heart just aches because I know I am so responsible for how my children relate. Oh, Jesus I'm so sorry--oh how I wish I'd been more healed while raising them. Oh Jesus, redeem my mistakes, pull them out of the brokenness I caused and let them live their purpose in You."
I told you in my last post how these thoughts have wooed me into a study of the life of Jacob. I have to tell you that as I've studied, more questions than answers have emerged. If some of you have taken the time to read Genesis 25:19-34, you know that from the very beginning, before these twins, Esau and Jacob were even born, their personalities and destinies were set. They were at odds with one another in their mother's womb and it continued through their adulthood. You also learned that God had a plan. He spoke to Rebekah, the twins' mother before their birth about the boys' future saying the the "elder [Esau] would serve the younger [Jacob]." Last time I shared that Jacob's name means "deceiver."
What I didn't note last time is something very important that we read in verses 27-28:
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Favoritism. We will see in future posts how it breeds an unhealthy family dynamic that leads to a lifetime of heartache. We will also see, however, how God's Sovereignty is at work even within and through the mistakes, character flaws, favoritism, and deception. Maybe there's hope after all. Maybe God can supercede all our human frailties to accomplish His purposes. Maybe our mistakes, sins, and failures as parents don't have the final word. Maybe, just maybe, God is still at work.
Where are you today? Are you sharing in my laments? Do you struggle to understand how God is at work? Is there a prayer you've been praying for awhile and seem to see no answer in sight? Maybe I'm not alone. Maybe God is at work in your heart, just like He is in mine.
Don't miss my next post when I share with you what God spoke to my heart about my mistakes, sins, and failures--maybe it's a message for you too!