Sometimes, you just have to pray. You have to stop and give to God something that you thought should be within your power. Something that you thought was your responsibility. You stop and just say, “God, I’ve been trying to get this thing right now for two years. For two years I’ve trained and taught and line upon lined, precept upon precepted. And this is where I’m at God. Only You can change a heart.”
One by one the formulas go out the window. I ask for wisdom. I try something new. I work and pray at it. I work through my anger—giving that to God, realizing that this anger is not from God, it’s just thrown in there by the devil to muddy the already difficult water. I take away privileges, I take away sweets, but nothing works for the long term. About the time I think we’ve got this thing, it all comes crashing in again. I realize I can not do this thing.
He is four years old. He is my first born son. And I love him. So today, I washed out his shorts one more time. One more time he tried to hold it in because he was having too much fun to stop. One more time I could see in his eyes, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this child was guilty. Once again, he knew when and where it happened—what he was doing when he realized he needed to go, but was having to much fun to stop.
When he’s cleaned up I just take him on my lap and I pray. I ask God to change his heart. I ask God to protect him. I tell God I’ve done my best and I’m committing my son to Him. It’s all that’s left to do.
It’s a helpless feeling. It’s a safe feeling.
This week there will be more line upon line, precept upon precept. I’m going to pray harder. I’m going involve him better in my daily activities. I’m going to keep closer tabs on him, if that’s possible. I’m going to love him. I’m going to discipline him as usual. Because everything is coming hard for this kid these days. Obedience, attitudes,all of it. And I think it’s coming. But only God can change his heart.
And God will. Someday, this will pass. Someday this stubbornness will be changed into a fervent and undying love for the Lord. The hardness will be softened. He will find what it takes to be a man of God. He will find Jesus for himself.
This is the goal. I’m not sitting around holding my breath, wondering if this boy will grow up to love Jesus. Loving Jesus is what he was created to do. We’re going to walk this thing out with lots and prayer and obedience. We’re on God’s team around here. This is all we have and it’s far more than enough.