Sunday, March 29, 2009

Job among us 3-24-09

Job among us 3-24-09

Yesterday we received an email that reminded me how much parents are tied to their children as much as children are to their parents. Sometimes that bond is one of anger and hostility, but in healthy relationships that bond is based on love and sacrifice.

In the beginning it is the parents who make the sacrifices. Babies and even toddlers absorb all that you can give them and think they fully deserve it. Being the center of their universe they can easily dismiss any offering and rebel at any counsel.

In those children's middle age,they seem to move in their own orbit and consider their parents as pleasant planets whose orbit occasionally crosses theirs, but think there is little gravitational effect. Oh there are the birthdays and holidays, but grown children have their own little worlds to tend to and the grandparents just swish in and swish out from occasion to occasion, and it should be so, but they are so used to the gravity that they don't feel it.

This time of your children raising their children is a gift from God, a time for the grandparents to rest from their labors and enjoy the fruits. Occasionally that rest is short lived or even denied them altogether. We know one couple who have had to raise several of their grandchildren into the couple's 90's. We all know of such situations and some will claim that it is a blessing, but I believe that it is also a great burden for people beyond the normal child rearing age. Physical and emotional strength in one's 60's are not what they were in one's 30's .

This brings me to one couple that we know who are dear friends. They are examples of parents who have reared healthy, productive children and who allow them to spin in their own orbits. However, they are also examples to me of how closely and how quietly parents are bound to their children and grandchildren, enjoying their successes and grieving with their sorrows. Grown children cannot, and should not, know how their lives can and often do impact their parents. If they did, it would intimidate them and cause them to have unhealthy second guessing about every move and yet, it is still true that we as gray-haired parents are still emotionally and spiritually bound to these spirits that we nurtured and sent into their orbits.

I have been especially touched by the string of heartaches and disappointments of this couple whose children have run a string of missteps and bad luck that have caused both of these good people to groan mightily under the load. The husband is surely suffering with the emotional burden of his children's difficulties, but few men suffer like a mother when her children cry out for solace and relief.

This dear woman is a well of empathy and compassion that knows no limits. Her children have suffered some of the greatest challenges of our times and great personal tragedy. As they have done so they have come to this mother for the same comfort and solace that she has always given them. She is for the thirsty, a well of pure water from which they drink and drain the source before they go their way refreshed. How much can she give? Where does it come from? How can she continue to give?

Her well is dug deep into the rock of Jesus Christ. That is the source of her strength and the source of the water that she freely gives. Her faith in Him and our Heavenly Father are the anchors for her in the current storm and she it tied to them without question, much like Job of the Old Testament. She has given of her water until the well seems to be dry and then finds that it is filled again by her faith from the Rock of her Salvation. Surely she is as Job, a righteous and dear daughter of Heavenly Father who will endure to the end without blaming Her God for her burden.

She recently had an opportunity to receive care and love from those same children as she was injured far away from home. That care and that service by children who love and respect their mother were an opportunity to selflessly show that love, and they all performed admirably. Dear sister, that was just a small sign of their great love for you and I know that you recognize God's tender mercies in giving them that opportunity to care for you, giving you that small glimpse of their devotion to you.

I know her. We know and love her. She will endure to the end and will receive that most precious accolade from the Savior, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord." God bless you dear friend and get well soon.

What a woman. What a mother. What a friend.
DS

2 comments:

Marilyn said...

Thanks Doug for your insight and encouragement to all us mothers (and fathers). Like Sherry Dew's book says, If Life was Easy, it Wouldn't be Hard. We all just need to keep going and never give up, even though we might feel that the trials are just too much. Marilyn

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