Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two Washcloths

Several days ago I told the story, To See Him, of seeing our son finish Marine Corps Basic Training.  I spoke of the washcloth we used to wipe away our copious tears during the Eagle, Globe and Anchor ceremony at Parris Island.

But there were two washcloths in this story.

You see, the first was used the day he left for boot camp.

That day I kept busy, trying to distract myself from what would happen that afternoon. Frequently throughout the day I would go into my bathroom, close the door, and cry into the wash cloth I was keeping in my pocket just for that purpose.

After several such trips my son met me at the bathroom door.

"Mom," he said with more maturity than his seventeen years would belie, "I want you to be happy for me.  I have wanted this for eight years.  If I were leaving because I was getting married today, you would be happy."

His words soothed my breaking heart somewhat -- is it ever easy to send a child away from your care?  I recalled the multiple events that helped us as his parents believe that this young man had found the will of the Lord for his life.  

If this was the Lord's will for our son's life, and I truly believe it was, then I should have had a great joy in knowing he was following that will.  I should have been encouraging and supportive to him.

Sometimes the Lord's will for our lives doesn't look as we imagined it would.  Sometimes it is wrapped in heartache and pain.  Sometimes we are tempted to retreat to that washcloth in our pocket.

But the Lord's will always has our best interest in mind.  He is always working everything in our lives for our good and in doing so He is always conforming us to the image of His Son.

Could I have envisioned what was ahead for my son, and us as his parents, all the special training schools, the deployment to Iraq and Africa -- I might have needed a bath towel rather than a washcloth.  Thankfully, the Lord doesn't show us everything in our futures.  What He does show us is His unfailing faithfulness.

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13.)

There is no temptation that will assault us that the Lord has not first made a way to escape the temptation.  By faith in Him and what He has promised in His word, we can find ourselves safe and with complete peace.  We may still need our washcloth some, but our hearts will be secure in the knowledge of our Lord's love and protection for us.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower:  
the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." 
(Proverbs 18:10.)

Where Shall I Run, Lord?
unknown author

Where shall I run, Lord,
when all around me trouble and strife 
seem to be everywhere?

Have You not said that 
You would protect me?
Safe in your hand I will evermore be.

With such protection, none can alarm me
though the storms of life almost kill.
Ever to this shelter I will be fleeing,
no other one can provide peace for me.

Where shall I run, Lord,
When I am weary, tired and distressed,
I am left all alone?
Have You not said that you would console me?
Safe in Your arms I will evermore be.

With such protection, none can alarm me
through the storms of life almost kill.
Ever to this shelter,
I will be fleeing, no other one can provide peace for me.

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