I got a call yesterday from my son's middle school wanting to know if it was okay if he joined a bereavement group. I asked if it was about his brother being sent to a group home. She said no, not unless he had died lately. I said no. She said that our son had mentioned his grandparents had died. I explained that it had been several years and that our son had not really known them. So when Hank got home I asked him about it wondering if he knew what bereavement was. He got sheepish and said that now he did but before it just sounded like fun to join. One of his friend had told him he thought it was something about the military. Hmm. (I swallowed my laughter.)
Last night I got a call at midnight from our other son crying that he had been beaten up by his roommate in his group home. He did not fight back because he did not want to lose his level three game privileges. Hmm. He calmed down but then started acting very strangely so they took him to the hospital. He's okay. I talked to him a long time this morning. It was a good time to talk about his bi-polar diagnosis.
Then as soon as we hung up, I got the message that our grown son's car was hit by a woman who ran a red light near his home. His car is totaled but he walked away. We are so grateful. He commutes a long distance to work everyday, or rather every night, but this accident occurred a country block from his home.
Boys. Gotta love 'em, pray for them. In the night while waiting for news from the hospital for son #2, I reread Palm 31. Yep. This morning I read a new prayer for my boys in Psalm 32.
"Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You,
in a time when You may be found...
You are my hiding place;
You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
This is the crux of the matter isn't it? We are called to pray. But are we afraid to be called "godly"? Who-is-righteous-no-not-one, kind of thinking gets us confused. But the Bible calls believers "saints." "Godly." Yep. That's who we are, the godly. How about that! The earlier part of the Psalm tells us how to get there, how to deal with our sin so we can be godly.
"(This Psalm) ... is calculated to give us the highest instruction relative to the guilt of sin and the blessedness of pardon and holiness, or justification, and sanctification. It is supposed to have been made after David's transgression with Bathsheba, previous to his having obtained pardon. The Syriac entitles it, 'A Psalm of David, concerning the sin of Adam, who dared and transgressed; and a prophecy concerning Christ, because through Him we are able to be delivered from hell."
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven."
"In this and the following verse, four evils are mentioned: 1. Transgression. 2. Sin. 3. Iniquity.
4. Guile. The first signifies the passing over a boundary; doing what is prohibited. The second signifies the missing of a mark, not doing what is commanded: but is often taken to express sinfulness; or sin in the nature, producing transgression in the life. The third signifies, what is turned out of its proper course or situation; anything morally distorted or perverted. Iniquity, what is contrary to equity or justice. The fourth signifies fraud, deceit, guile, etc.
To remove these evils three act are mentioned: forgiving, covering, and not imputing. Transgression must be forgiven borne away, by a vicarious sacrifice; for bearing sin, or bearing away sin, always implies this. Sin must be covered, hidden from sight. It is odious and abominable, and must be put out of sight. Iniquity what is perverse or distorted, must not be imputed must not be reckoned to his account. Guile must be annihilated from the soul. The man whose transgression is forgiven; whose sin is hidden God having cast it as a millstone into the depths of the sea; whose iniquity and perversion is not reckoned to his account; and whose guile the deceitful and desperately wicked heart, is annihilated, being emptied of sin and filled with righteousness; is a necessarily happy man."
"In vain does any man look for or expect happiness while the power of sin remains, the guilt is unpardoned, and the impurity not purged away. To the person, who has got such blessings, we may say as the Psalmist said, "O the blessedness of that man! whose transgression is forgiven."
"When I kept silence..."
"Before I humbled myself, and confessed my sin, my soul was under the deepest horror. I roared all the day long; and felt the hand of God heavily upon my soul."
"I acknowledge my sin..."
"When this confession was made thoroughly and sincerely, and I ceased to cover and extenuate my sin, then Thou didst forgive the iniquity of my sin. I felt the hardness of my heart, --I felt the deep distress of soul. I felt power to confess and abhor my sin; --I felt confidence in the mercy of the Lord; and I felt the forgiveness of the iniquity of my sin...I know it; I felt it. I feel it."
"Who can pray with a hard heart, and a dark mind? While you feel relentings, pray."
"'Many sorrows shall be to the wicked"
Every wicked man is a miserable man. God has wedded sin and misery as strongly as He has holiness and happiness. God hath joined them together: none can put them asunder."But He that trusteth in the Lord" Such a person is safe and happy.
"Be glad and rejoice."
"Let every righteous soul rejoice, --and glory; but let it be in the Lord. Man was made for happiness; but his happiness must be founded on holiness; and holiness, as it comes from God, must be retained by continual union with Him."
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you."
Now back to my boys. Notice this is God talking, not mama talking. The goal is not to keep kids in the harness like a horse or mule to lead them around with externalized control. The whole purpose of parenting is instructing children in the way they should go, but then that they internalize this so they no longer need mama and daddy to tell them what to do because in their heart God is telling them the way they should go. We lead by example, then we let go except through prayer. So yep. That's what a mama's got to do, keep praying and hopefully we won't need those bereavement classes just yet.