Monday, June 27, 2011

Sweet Sixteen Again

Our daughter, Erin, turned 16 years old yesterday and celebrated in style — from chocolate chip scones for breakfast to s’mores at a bonfire with friends after a musical rehearsal in the evening. Since she’s a musical theatre lover and is playing the lead for the first time in a show opening in less than two weeks, she’s already having the summer of her life. The only thing that could make it better at this point is if she passes her driver’s test on the first try today.

As parents, Larry and I have tried to help our kids catch God’s vision for who they are and what His best is for their lives while nurturing the personal hopes and dreams that they develop. We are so thankful Erin is arriving at 16 with wild dreams about her future, full of giftedness and potential to achieve them, but also with a mature willingness to yield to God’s best for her. She seems to have a healthy anticipation about the future because she trusts God.

Sometimes I need to be more confident about all the possibilities for my own future. As we get older, we can be tempted to believe that it’s getting too late for our dreams or we look back with regret about lost opportunities. We see our baggage. We think we have a more “realistic” (aka mature) appreciation of our limitations and we tend to be more conservative in our plans. We think, “Oh, to be sixteen again!”

Our heavenly Father sees things very differently. Like the parent of a young child, He finds it easy to see the great potential within us and the bright future ahead. He has a vision for our possibilities that we cannot even fathom. No one in the Bible was ever too old for big dreams! Throughout history, God makes a point of encouraging His children often about their future:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:2-3

We would all do well to embrace our future with the anticipation of child and the vision of our Divine Parent.

LORD, help us catch Your vision for our possibilities. Remind us that it’s never too late for You to do something beautiful and amazing. Every day with You brings with it the sweetness of feeling like we’re sixteen again because Your love, grace, wisdom and power never run out. AMEN

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