“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
Most Christians understand the old law of sowing and reaping all too well. My son, however, came to understand it in a real and personal way when he was 15. It gave me an excellent opportunity to remind him just how much biblical principles continue to have application and meaning in our lives, not to mention a parable in which to share an important spiritual truth with you about God’s love for us. And by the way, my son’s best wishes go with it.
Mark was invited to go camping by our neighbors. They, too, have a son, who wanted him to come along as they hiked up and down Mount Mitchell. Mt. Mitchell is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi and is located in western North Carolina. He couldn’t say yes fast enough in spite of the fact that this was the last weekend before school began. “Are you really sure you want to do this?” I asked. “Dad,” he said, I’m almost sixteen now. I’m not going to call you up at midnight and ask you to come pick me up.”
It was then I realized that my little boy was growing up. He no longer even looked like a little boy. He had grown about four inches over the summer and looked very much like the teenager he had become. I still saw the child in him on occasion. That’s what adolescence is all about. But I was beginning to also see the makings of a young man. I was proud when he announced that his homesick days were over. It seemed to be an appropriate rite of passage for him.
So confident were my wife and I that we decided to leave home and take a weekend trip, kid-free. I couldn’t remember the last time we’ve been able to do something like that and not have to worry about whether the home would burn down before we returned.
So off we went, Mark his way, and Robbie and I, our way. Day One went just great. But on Day Two however, Mark’s mother called me on my cell phone. “You’re not going to believe this,” she told me. “Mark just called me collect and has been trying to call you all day, but they won’t allow collect calls to cell phones. He asked me to call you and give you the pay phone number where he’s waiting for you to call him.”
We both laughed a little but then confessed how sorry we felt for him. He was fresh out of luck because there was no way to come home. And on top of it all, he had just found out that he wasn’t coming home on Sunday as he originally believed. He was coming a day later on Monday.
When I called him, I honestly can’t remember when I’ve ever talked to a more miserable child. Camping was fine, but his remission from adolescence was over. My little boy wanted his daddy.
The only thing I could do was tell him how much I loved him and remind him that part of becoming a young man was to learn to live with his mistakes. “I miss you, too,” I told him. “This is hard on both of us. It’ll be over before you know it. Try to have a good time.”
You could almost feel the tears come right through the telephone. My son was learning, in the strongest way I could ever recall, that we must live with the consequences of our decisions. As for me, I learned something very special about God’s love.
I think God looks down on us sometimes and as much as He’d like to help us out, He knows that we must learn to live with the decisions we make. That’s part of the deal with free will. But in spite of the fact that He chooses to let us live with the decisions we make, He also loves us through it. It is just like any other father and much like the love I had for Mark as he struggled with the decision he made.
The Bible teaches us that God love is like the love of a father. In fact, we are promised, “You received the spirit of sonship. And by Him, we cry, ‘Abba Father’.” (Romans 8:15)
I understand that promise much better now. Thanks to His Son and mine.Share on Facebook