A New Season
Is it possible to be happy and sad at the exact same time? The answer to this question is “Yes” for I am living proof. As I write this devotional, my firstborn, my beautiful daughter of twenty-seven years is just days away from marrying her Prince Charming. As I contemplate all of the emotions, all the changes and all the ramifications of this blessed event, I feel completely overwhelmed to say the least. My first thought is; “How did we get here? How is it possible that my little girl is getting married already, and not just getting married but moving several hours away”.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am very happy for her and for her soon to be husband. Both of them know Jesus and live for Him on a daily basis as they continue to grow in their faith. God has indeed brought them together to be joined as husband and wife and so for that I am truly thankful and excited for them. On the other hand, when I’m alone with my thoughts, I find myself somewhat sad that after twenty-seven years, I will no longer be the most important man in my daughter’s life. What a tough pill to swallow! As I consider this drastic change and the necessary adjustments, I am reminded of what the Scriptures reveal to us; “There will be grace for this!”
The relationship between a parent and their child should be unlike any other relationship. The emotional bond between the two creates a relationship that is loving, enduring and rewarding. As I reflect back on the past twenty-seven years, my wife and I consider ourselves to be very fortunate to have raised such an incredible person. In fact we have three wonderful children who love God and love their mom and dad. It is with great humility that I can tell you that all three of our children are unashamed of the relationship they have with God and with mom and dad. This of course makes this life change all the more difficult.
Our family has always been extremely proud and blessed to share such love and compassion for each other. We genuinely love being together and the memories we enjoy will be shared for years to come. But again, there is this whole idea of completing this season or chapter in our lives. After the wedding on July 4th, things will never be the same. The nest that was once so full will become less full and while I am excited for this new chapter in my daughter’s life, it leaves dad a bit empty inside. But then I remind myself; “There will be grace for this!”
I have been through difficult seasons before. The loss of loved ones will test your faith and resolve like nothing else. I have lost grandparents, my mom, my dad, a brother and even an unborn child. Each season of grief greatly altered the way I viewed life; it altered the way I live life. There are other events that test us as well, such as the loss of a job, a home, a marriage, our health, our finances and maybe even our testimony. There are times when we fully understand what David meant when he wrote; “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. In my effort not to be overly dramatic here, I understand that children grow up and get married. This is the natural order of life and I am thankful for that, but this will take some getting used to.
However, this devotional is not about me and it’s not really about my daughter and her new life together with her soon to be husband. This devotional is about the very One who has promised us in His Word that regardless of what we (His children) experience in life; “There will be grace for this!”
The Grace Given to Abraham
I am reminded of Abraham when he was instructed to sacrifice his son Isaac. I don’t know exactly what must have been going through Abraham’s mind at the time but he must have wondered why God would require such a difficult task. Abraham and Sarah had built their lives around this child. They had prayed for him and waited for him and Isaac was supposed to be a blessing to so many for years to come. Yet Abraham trusted God! He prepared for the three day trip traveling some fifty miles so that he might obey the command of God. I imagine the trip from Beersheba to Mount Moriah was a quiet one. I mean, what does a father say to his son whom he is about to sacrifice?
This chapter in Abraham’s life was about to come to an end and he must have been heartbroken over the thought of losing his son. And if this wasn’t bad enough, Abraham was left to bear the burden alone. Sarah was at home and his servants were back at the camp as Abraham went forward to prepare the altar. No doubt his relationship with Isaac had been loving, enduring and rewarding. Talk about feeling empty inside, Abraham knew it all too well. Yet in the midst of this unbelievable story, we not only see Abraham’s heart and love for God but also his faith. He tells his servants, “The lad and I will go yonder and worship and we will come back to you”. Abraham could not have known what God was going to do but he believed God would do something. Maybe Isaac would be sacrificed and then raised from the dead? But the reality is, Abraham must have known, “There will be grace for this!”
In the end, Abraham was not required to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham proved his love for God and his faith in God to provide during this season of his life. In return, God provided a ram for the sacrifice and greatly blessed Abraham for years to come.
The word of God is filled with the grace of God
Story after story of God’s grace is extended to those who pursued Him and requested His grace. During a difficult time in the Apostle Paul’s life, God reminded him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness”. In Hebrews 4:16 the Bible says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. Of course the greatest grace shown to mankind was when Jesus went to the cross and paid the penalty for sin. Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith”. It is indeed a gift from God! As you read this devotional, maybe you are in the midst of a very difficult season in life. Or maybe you are about to begin a new chapter in your life as I am. The point is, regardless of what we face in life, for those of us who know God and live for Him, we can be encouraged knowing, “There will be grace for this!”
In a few days I will have the honor of not only walking my little girl down the aisle but I will also officiate the wedding. What a privilege to join together my daughter and her groom as they stand before God and commit themselves to one another. I don’t really consider that I’m giving her away; I’m simply giving the greatest gift a man can give to another, a young woman who has loved God and lived for Him and for years to come will be a blessing to her family. I’m not sure how I will handle the emotions of that day. I’m not sure how I will adjust or accept this new chapter in my life, but this much I know for sure, “There will be grace for this!”