When our children are small and we teach that God is our heavenly Father; that comforts because they know that their caregivers are their lifeline in a very practical and understandable way. As they grow, as we all grow, our understanding of our relationship with our heavenly Father becomes important in new and deeper ways as Savior and Comforter.
When someone we love--a child, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a nephew or niece or a friend--land in a situation where there are new and significant obstacles to the dreams and expectations we have for them, this is a huge part of our journey. Often for the incarcerated, lack of understanding the consequences of their frequently impulsive actions and choices leave them too busy struggling to survive the short term. But for those of us that think in the long-term, we wonder what kind of life they will have going forward.
But God has a plan for all of us. God has a plan for us to be made wise and strong by our part of the journey. And God has a plan for our loved one, though it may be quite different from anything we had been wanting for them.
Today, as we view the empty chair at our tables, or as we look into a face bearing the mark of incarceration, let us be thankful that God is so much greater than we can understand. Let us clutch to our hearts the truth of this: God's plans are better than ours for all eternity. Let us surrender to the greater plans God has for our loved ones and for ourselves.
Most of all, let us be filled with Thanksgiving that God is fully present and infinitely powerful whether we are behind brick and mortar bars, in the free world or are living in the limbo that is the legal process or recovering from incarceration.
God knows who we were created to be, knows our purpose, and longs to helps us fulfill our purpose: to give us His Grace so we learn to live in peace, hope and love at all times and in all places.
We have this treasure from God, but we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This is to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us. Corinthians 4:7 (ERV)