A Better Way to Look at Things (Though I Hate to Admit It)

In a post attributed to youth pastor and father Alex Cravens, some thoughts were shared that helped me, as a dad, in my struggle with the current state of life in America. I mean this especially in relation to all of the virus-related challenges and restrictions we’ve faced over the past 10 months or so. Honestly, the most difficult part (by far) has been the negative impact of the pandemic on my children. They, like countless others, have lost too many important things and my heart has broken for them over and over again. Graduating from college and getting married (my son) and graduating from high school and middle school (my two daughters) were events that looked much different—not in a good way—than they should have, simply because they happened in the year 2020. And those momentous life events are just a few examples of the losses that overwhelmed me with sadness for my kids. It even reached the point, at least in my darker moments, where I actually felt guilty for bringing them into this world with all of its pain and troubles and disappointments.
And then I read the aforementioned words from that other dad, Mr. Cravens. I felt a little irritated at first because, frankly, I don’t always want to look at the bright side and remain optimistic when life hurts my kids. I’d rather be bitter and wallow in the misery of feeling terrible for my favorite young people on the planet. But the author’s words grabbed me, nonetheless, and reminded me that there is, in fact, a better way to look at things, as much as I hate to admit it. Grr… He wrote, “Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be. God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.”
The post goes on to encourage us as parents to empower our kids to know they can change the world, which inspires them to live hopefully instead of fearfully. We’re also challenged not to let our fear steal the greatness that God has placed in our children.
As has often been the case, God used my kids (and another parent) to teach me a valuable lesson. I’ll save the details for another time, but I even believe that God worked through my future children to reach me and my wife before they were born. Right now, God is teaching me it’s no accident that my kids are where they are, because He has uniquely prepared them to accomplish goals only they can achieve. He has indeed placed greatness in them and they are equipped to handle the present challenges in ways I can scarcely imagine. God has my kids in this time and place for a reason, and I can’t wait to see what it is.
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14).
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Troy Burns