Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18
Saturday was prom day for our youngest who turned 18 three weeks ago. I close my eyes and see him in that navy blue & white striped shirt he wore the day I held him for the first time in the Russian orphanage. He was 19 months-old with chubby cheeks. We didn’t know then that he was infested with scabies on his skin and giardia in his gut. Thankfully, both cleared quickly with medication.
But some things don’t clear quickly. And some things don’t clear at all.
Unknown to us at the time, fetal exposure to alcohol left our son (and our other two children) with a host of permanent challenges, mostly invisible. This one here? Deaf in one ear. Multiple learning disabilities. Severe ADHD. Speech impairment. Others too complex to explain. But he does not let his challenges limit his spirit. He loves the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul. And he loves his “enemies” as well as his friends.
I watch him and his friends horsing around on the beach by our house while I photograph.
Prom. 2016. Written in the sand. This will be washed away. But my joy will remain. For God has grown this kid up. And our son, the one who will not let life get him down, proves that challenges can’t keep us from the joy we have in Jesus.
No matter what.
Even when we grieve, we do not grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We can give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Our God of hope fills us with all joy and peace. (Romans 15:13).
We know this is not our permanent home and our bodies are not as they always will be. Permanent disabilities and illnesses are not really permanent. We will be restored! We. WILL. Be. Because it was for redemption and restoration that Jesus came.
Jesus is our joy because Jesus is our hope.
I drive back to the house alone. The four young adults move on in front of me. Farmers have been working dawn to dusk. Though planted, fields look empty.
Fear not! God is growing us up in Spirit. In due time, we will see his holy harvest and rejoice in ALL things renewed.
Give thanks and know joy now, for our hope and our future is secure.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(The life verse we gave all three of our kids.)