And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
Dear God, I think it’s impossible to be a good parent. Well, I take that back. I think there are some people out there who are good parents. I’ll rephrase. I really tried, but as I look back on my parenting all I see is failure and mistakes. I wasn’t strict enough here. I was too strict there. I didn’t pray enough here. I was too spiritual there.
I was talking to a woman yesterday who adores her father and talked about all of the lessons and wisdom he imparted to her. I was sitting there admiring the heck out of the guy and wishing I was more like him, but then I remembered something. This woman, who is in her late 20s now, ended up leaving home and moving in with her boyfriend while she was still in high school. She is married to the boyfriend now, but I am sure that that felt like tremendous failure to that father in the moment. Of course, now, the woman is one of the most admirable people I know. I admire both her and her husband greatly. But I’m sure her life and how things were going didn’t always look that promising to her parents.
One thing that I tend to get from you more and more the closer I get to you is that you have made room in your plan for my failures. While I can do some damage, to be sure, in the broad scheme of things, your overall plan has allowed for my mistakes. You are always working for the good for those who love you (Romans 8:28), whether we can see it or not. In the case of this woman, she talked about the struggles she experienced through her choices and how they made her stronger. Her father is very pleased with her now. I’m sure he couldn’t see it at the time, but you were working all things together for the good of those who love you.
Father, I have a lot of work today, and I have a lot of opportunities to really blow it, but I am going to trust you that this path is ordained. Whether it has struggle waiting for me, or even failure, I trust that you will use my work–my life–for your glory. I submit it all to you. To paraphrase an “invitation hymn” from my Baptist days, all to you I surrender. All to you I freely give. I will ever love and trust you. In your presence daily live. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee my blessed savior, I surrender all.
In Jesus’ name I pray,