“ 'What then is this child going to be?' For the Lord’s hand was with him."
I wished my kids came with instructions. They wished I came with a script.
Wearing that deer-in-the-headlights look while my mind raced through the invisible Rolodex of wisdom didn't settle them one bit. If I lingered too long in dumb-foundedness, they assumed I didn't care; spoke too soon and I didn't understand. Either way it was an exasperating, losing battle and my Mommy Meter quickly ran dry of patience until all that was left was my Mean Mommy sarcasm. "What do you want me to say?" I'd retort throwing my hands above my head. "You didn't come with instructions and God didn't hand me a script the day you were born!" Honestly, some days I was the one that needed the time-out chair!
Seriously, though, wouldn't life be less complicated if our children came fully equipped with unique, personality-based instructions, or at the very least, a script that prompts us parents when we're clueless?
Elizabeth and Mary came close.
When Gabriel foretold the births of John the Baptist (to Zechariah and Elizabeth) and Jesus (to Mary) in Luke 1, we find that not only did he reveal their sex and name, but he also foretold their Kingdom purpose. John would be the prophet to the Messiah, preparing people's hearts to receive Him through repentance of sins and water baptism. Jesus would be prophesy fulfilled--the promised Messiah, God's son--the One ushering in God's new kingdom on earth.
Knowing they carried God's redemptive plan in their bellies, I'm not convinced parenting these boys was any easier for these women than it is for us clueless moms. Let's put ourselves in Mary's shoes when Jesus came up missing and she found him in the temple after back-tracking three days. Just imagine the words that flew out of her mouth. I'm sure there was a bit of Mean Mommy sarcasm on her lips! Or what of Elizabeth's comments when she saw John living like a poor homeless man in the dessert wearing nothing but camel hides and eating locusts and honey? We don't actually know what she said, but she was a Jewish mother from a long line of priests. TRADITION! I'm not thinking she was too pleased with his choice of attire or diet.
While modern technology allows us to know the sex of our unborn, we don't know God's plan for them. Oh, we wonder about it. On those sleepless nights when the moonlight shines just right onto their sleeping, angelic faces, or when they disobey, make wrong choices, maybe even abandon their faith. In all these situations we pray, "What then is this child going to be?"
Our children may not come with instructions and God may not provide us scripts; we cannot control their choices or what they become, but we can do our best to train them in the truth of God's word, (which He promises will always accomplish what He desires), and we must live God's truth before them.
"So is my word that goes out from my (God's) mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).
As we forge ahead birthing, parenting, living life unscripted, may we not only hide your word in our hearts, but speak them, teach them, and live them. May your purpose for all of us, including our children, be revealed to us and may we partner with you in the fulfillment of your kingdom purposes in us, through us, and on this earth. "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."