But God's perspective on what the means is often quite different from ours, especially when we love a now adult child whose path to productive adulthood has been broken and erratic. At some point human parents need to work themselves out of the parenting business, but figuring out how that all worked took much focus and energy as my children aged into teenagers. At some point our understanding of what is helpful must move on from "doing for" to "encourage when they fall by assuring them they can pick themselves up and try again."
This reading today reminded me of this. Isaiah's observations are recorded in Isaiah 38 in the 16th verse: "Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish." As long as things seemed to flow with only minor challenges I took my relationship with God so very much for granted. But the first really big challenge, the death of my father in the midst of a thoroughly devastating divorce, totally rocked my world in a very bad way.
But I was so blessed because I never really was mad at God or demanding with God because it was so clear to me that I had been neglecting that relationship. I felt my faith battery was very run down and the alternator in dire need of a rebuilt. But I was never seriously tempted to try to run my life's car by getting rid of the battery.
This seems a common experience with mature Christians who often speak of a deepening of faith and relationship with God during big time challenges. And the common thread for us is this: God is faithful in His love of us. God is trustworthy. God is generous. God pours upon us the Spirit who heals, teaches, comforts, and inspires.
So when you consider the biggest challenge of your life today, would you discuss this with God with a curious mind and a hopeful heart? And if you don't feel you can, but wish you could, you can start the discussion right there. God is in the business of responding to us where we are.