Think back to when you were a senior in high school. Try to place yourself back into the mentality of the world being your oyster. The future was wide open, and yours for the taking!
Or was it?
Did your parents help guide you through it? Perhaps you found an out-of-state school with all the bells and whistles, including tuition to match. Not in the budget.
Maybe a local commuter school seemed like the ticket, but your mom or dad encouraged you to be brave and spread your wings a few hours away.
Perhaps you dreamed of majoring in rhythmic dancing, and your parents gently redirected you toward sports medicine or business management.
Regardless of the detour, and as a father myself, I believe any diversions or alternate paths suggested to your eighteen-year-old self came from a place of protective love.
Your parents, or mentors, played the long game.
It would have been undoubtedly challenging to confront your passion and dreams with a reality check, but being the more mature, they were able to see the domino effect one choice could potentially have on your future.
No matter the degree of maturity and with it ness you had as a young adult, you lacked one thing: experience.
There are also moments in life I’m sure we can all look back on where a parent, teacher, or mentor encouraged us regardless of our likely failure because of their deep love for us.
As a loving father, there are times when I know the only way for my child to accomplish their next stage of growth and wisdom is through pain and suffering.
Perhaps there’s something that they deeply desire to complete, and I know that to do so will bring a lot of pain, difficulties, and hardships. But, as a loving father, I support them and try to find the best way forward for them. Even while knowing that they will be in great pain, I might be able to give my children extensive intellectual knowledge that could help avoid many of the pains of life. Still, there are lessons to be learned and character to be developed that can only result from hardship, pain, and suffering.
A perfect and loving father is present through the grief. He is easing the pains where possible, shaping each point of trouble to the maximum value with zero waste. Of course, I would make a different way if it were best. But, there’s only one best way, and that is the way a loving father has prepared for his children.
In the life of Jesus, we see this play out, but with an even deeper and more profound truth.
Not only did a loving Father provide, sustain, care for, and shape the life of Christ for His very best plan, He uniquely did so in concert with Jesus.
Before the earth’s foundations, the Father and Son agreed on the special mission that Jesus would be living out in the world: Reconciling the world to the Father for the ultimate glory of all creation.
So, we see Jesus obedient at every turn, facing every pain, rejection, weary journey, complex person, betrayal, and ultimately obedience to the point of death on the cross. He met and accepted every moment of suffering and pain he experienced on His journey toward the cross: His very best way, the Father’s way.
We can walk and live the same way.
As believers, we can endure each challenge, pain, disappointment, the harm done to us, and the indescribable point of suffering we face with the knowledge that our Father is sustaining us. As we experience what must be shared by each of us for His purposes, we become more like Christ.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus, our Lord, seeing that His divine power has granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Keep moving forward. You’re on purpose with a purpose for Him. We want to take this leadership journey with you!