Enjoyed some good conversations with my college kids over this weekend. Delightful.
Josh mentioned the blessing of being used by God – and there is no greater blessing, really. It is what led Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth to call her cousin Mary, the mother of Jesus, “blessed”. After all, Mary wasn’t blessed because she was rich (she had more in line economically with a peasant). And she wasn’t blessed because everything was going well for her relationally. Her relational world was probably in a shambles when Gabriel came to say hello (the whole out-of-wedlock thing likely had something to do with that). But Mary was blessed because she was about to be used more than any human being had ever been used before. That’s blessing.
And that led me to wax eloquent about two big prayer requests I have as I am moving into Act II of my life.
- I want to be used by God.
- I want my children to know and love Jesus. That seemed to be John’s heart when he wrote memorably…
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4 (ESV)
I’ve written on this before, but we parents are pretty wrapped up in our kids, aren’t we? I think some can overdo this, but in general it is the way that God made us – He made us to have this natural, overpowering love for our children. And my kids are doing well now, and yet I will pray all of my life that they would walk with God in the truth until they breathe their last.
And more than that, I’ve begun to hear something about a phenomenon called grandchildren. We don’t have any of those yet, and we’re not rushing it, but we will welcome the day when they come. A godly friend of mine has described his heart for his grandchildren: he simply wants to spend eternity with them, a very reasonable request, and one he is regularly petitioning the Lord for.
And then there are those other “children”. After all, though my personal application on this verse is appropriate, I don’t think John was actually speaking of biological children when he wrote his letter to Gaius. He was thinking as a pastor. And he wanted his pastoral children to walk in the truth. This is my heart as well.
And when you think about it, isn’t it interesting how these two requests come together? We are most wonderfully used by God as He enables us to help others we love know and follow the Lord Jesus. Now that is true joy.
So if you think to pray for me, ask the Lord for these things, would you? And may God use you also, and cause any spiritual children…or biological children you have…to walk in the truth.