Sometimes it feels like I'm watching speed skaters racing down the ice, wondering if they will careen off the edge. Or maybe it's the horses running the Palio in Siena checking against the corners on the cobblestone streets. Life can feel like a roller coaster, especially when juggling work, friendship, charitable pursuits, and stewardship of three almost adult children. My most important job is answering the summons, "Mama!"
Launching the first two of my beautiful children happened at light speed. One minute they needed my help with homework, the next minute they were all grown up. It's the baby that brings me to my knees. Literally. He's charming and brilliant and gifted and headstrong. He woke up every morning as a toddler thinking, "I wonder if the rules are the same today? Let me find out." Now that the culture in which we live has gone off the rails, and profane rappers are the poets of his generation, he doesn't have the balance or grounding to know where the guardrails should be. How do I help but worry about what he sees, where he goes? If there is no right and wrong anymore, are sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll not just okay for his age group, but required? Is life in polarized America full of hate and despair? Will he live the life that God intended for him?
Now that young men shoot police and police might even shoot a young man, life feels dangerous. The stakes feel higher. What do I do with the worries that plague me late at night? If it's approaching midnight and he hasn't come home, how do I reign in the worries that torment me? Has he been in an accident? Has he been tempted by alcohol? Something worse?
I remember when he was a baby and he'd had so many crashes and falls, trips to the emergency department and unusual symptoms, that the pediatrician ordered an MRI of his brain. The doctor paused and held my hand and said, "do you know what we're looking for?" I was terrified. That's when I learned that worries can paralyze. That's when I learned that when you have nothing left, all you have is Jesus. And Jesus is enough.
I take heart in the words of my Savior. When I stood over my toddler in the MRI, giving him to the Lord, letting go and trusting because I had no other choice, I learned what trust really looks like.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" Luke 12:25–26
I remember saying, "okay, Lord, he is yours, my soul is disquieted. I will yet praise you." And then I remembered His promise. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water and sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 7,8
I have a healthy son. Two healthy sons and a beautiful daughter. I envision them planted with deep roots, growing as the mighty oaks, with green leaves and lives that bear fruit. I thank God for the imagery. The 2016 world feels upside down, but we have an anchor. Our hope is in Jesus. Jesus is enough.