Reveal the Encounter Issue 10: A Life of Shalom

Our oldest son recently started his freshman year of college.  As countless parents have experienced as they sent their first child off, this time can be an emotional rollercoaster.  We had checked marked off all of the boxes on our list of desires.  He was going to a private Christian school that offered exactly the degree that he wanted and the school was even located in the city that was becoming well known for his field of study.  We didn’t pick his major or tell him what he would do when he grew up but we did raise him to live a live of shalom.  To find what God created Him to be and then live it to the best of his ability while honoring God.  He is doing just that while living and studying in a Christian environment with faculty guiding him along this next phase of his life focused on being who God created Him to be.  What more could you ask for as a parent.  I will even have to add and admit that he is doing phenomenal during these first couple of months of school, but none of this makes it any easier sending you child off.

Again, I’m not sharing anything that any other parent has never thought or struggled with.  The house is getting quieter, the refrigerator is staying fuller and my wallet doesn’t always seem to be as empty.  Isn’t this what we want?  Isn’t this the journey we embarked on over 18 years ago when he was born, to raise independent, self sufficient, God loving children?  But I found myself just standing outside the family room this last weekend watching him playing video games with his younger brother while he was home on fall break realizing that these days were so limited and that I was going to miss these moments.  I feel so proud that we have raised two independent and strong children who are taking ownership of their lives and faith.  Again I ask, what more could we ask for?

You may wondering where I’m going with all of this.  It got me thinking not only for all the other parents who have sent their children off to live life but it got me thinking about God, our Heavenly Father.  I wonder how He felt when He created Adam and Eve?  Was He nervous about how well of job they were going to do?  Were they going to leave that tree alone, you know that one that He had raised them to respect and stay away from?  Were they going to be obedient and respectful?  Were they going to be what He created them to be?  Unfortunately we all know the outcome, but He still loved them and is still constantly trying to help their offspring experience the life, a life of shalom, that He created all of humans to have.

It makes you stop and wonder how upset and nervous He gets when another child is born or another one goes out on their own.  It also makes me wonder why we struggle with living the life that He created us to live?  How many parents have spent sleepless nights worrying about the path their children have or will take that could or will only lead to pain, sorrow and chaos in their child’s life?  Yet, we have a Heavenly Father that is feeling the same things we are, not only for one child, two children, 10 children or even 20 children but billions.  I’m not trying to put a guilt trip on anyone, it just makes me think about the type of love a parent would have for all of their children that they’re willing to sacrifice a son in order to make a way for the other children to experience the kind of life He wishes and desires for them.  If He can love us so much to pursue and help us, why can’t we stop and assess our lives?  Why do we not like looking at our lives?  We have to constantly be asking ourselves if we are living the life He created us for?  Maybe we don’t even know what it is, maybe we’re just struggling and we’re afraid that we’re going to disappoint Him or maybe, just maybe, we’re afraid that He will refuse us.

I know that many times we are just like that prodigal son.  You know, the one who asked for his inheritance so he could go out and live his live on his own and then messed up.  He messed up, spent his money unwisely and when hard times hit the area, he didn’t have enough to survive.  He was so afraid of going home and asking for help that he chose to live with the pigs instead.  I know for me that while I pray that my children never have to come home beat down and frustrated, I also know that I love them way too much to turn them away or make them feel like they are failures.  It can be so difficult to face others when we mess up.  We are embarrassed and afraid of what others will say or act toward us.  Unfortunately, we have seen people do just that and we are afraid that it could happen to us too.  Just like I love my children way too much to turn my back on them or make them feel like failures, I also know that all of this comes down to the fact that God called us to live lives of shalom.  When we picture the perfect family loving one another no matter what, supporting one another no matter what, having open communication with one another, and then sharing that with others who don’t have it, that’s shalom!  God doesn’t dictate every aspect of our lives, He just simply asks that we live a life how He created us to live it.  That doesn’t mean that God preprogramed everything about lives and we just have to follow the dotted lines all drawn out before us.  Instead, God created us to live a life of peace and harmony, a life loving Him and others, and this will take shape and form in all different types of ways.  God just simply wants us to live a life shalom. But, if we do mess up, He has modeled shalom because He is always standing there with open arms willing to embrace us, to not shove our mistakes in our face but to help us forget them and rediscover what it means to live in shalom once again.

Are you living a life of peace and unity?

Are you living a life that God created you to live?

Are you living in shalom?

1 Comment

Carolyn Mann - October 19th, 2021 at 11:51am

Yes, I am loving the Lord with all my heart and loving others.