Adolescent skin is taut. The adolescent's words split, slice and test, as they battle in the birthing canal from child to adult. We must bend in their storm, but sometimes I think I might break and ruin everything! It is then that we look back and remember all the good seeds we've planted, by God's grace, will someday bear fruit. Hope is our fuel to carry on and never give up. Parenting mustn't be examined through the magnifying glass of the moment. If there is any lesson we've learned in twenty-four years of raising children, it is that we must step back from the rough moments, hours and days and look at the years, to gain perspective.
After eight years of cultivating the little plum tree in the back garden, one delicate fruit finally appeared last summer. We slivered it into fairy sized bites and savored its sweetness.
On that precious day, Emmaus whispered, "It's a miracle. I've never seen a miracle before."
"Yes, you have," Zion said, "when you were adopted."
We'd almost lost hope in the tree, but we'd continued our work of caring for its needs unconditionally. This summer the tiny miracle, if miracles do indeed come in sizes, grew into a lavish harvest of plums. We'd rejoiced in the one fruit, we couldn't have imagined the bounty this summer would bring. Few fell to the ground because in our joy we ate and shared almost every single one.
God's purposes and plans for our children follow no human timeline. He is doing exactly what must be done in the hearts of every single one of them to draw them to himself. My prayer for us, you and me, is that we will have patience and remain faithful as we love and sacrifice for each person for whom God has given us to care. And I pray that we will wait in patience, trusting God's work, his good economy and that eventually we might experience joy in the harvest. Whatever you are facing today, with children, yourself or some other someone, trust the God of the harvest, the one who gave us the plum tree as his sweet inspiration.