May 21, 2021
Author: Andrea Maher
I will never forget the first time I had the rug pulled out from under me — at least where it was visible for my entire community to see. It was years ago and preceded by numerous private disappointments and struggles — especially as a Mom with a child walking on the wrong path. It was a dual struggle: his choices; and what his choices said about me as a mother. I mean good parenting produces well-adjusted, successful, law-abiding offspring. Right?
I plead with the Lord regarding my prodigal. I had my own naïve version of how God should fix this problem and it certainly didn’t coincide with what eventually occurred. Humiliation wasn’t on my top ten list of possibilities.
You see, my son was arrested for drug possession in the very jurisdiction where his father was the newly appointed Chief of Police. Yes and needless to say, it was that very connection that caused what normally would be an obscure mention in the newspaper, to transfer into a major headline. The news spread like wildfire and eventually became idle chatter for a local talk radio show. The theme went something like this: “How to conquer the drug problem in our community when our lead law enforcement officer can’t manage it in his own home.” I can still recall the sting of that moment — and more than that– I didn’t understand God’s ways at all. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).
So now many trials and tribulations later, I can attest with first-hand knowledge and experience that it was in the darkest of times that I stumbled upon many of God’s numerous treasures. “My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:4). If you are currently under a heavy trial, please know that it is in the midst of the load that He begins to carry us. It is there where we learn His secrets as our sorrows rip the veil from the visible to the invisible and allows us to experience something unique: The hope He offers. The comfort He provides. The faithfulness of His love. The realness of our God.
Suffering of any sort can cause feelings of immense isolation. But as Christians, we must — hard as it is — take a pause and remember that it is through isolation that God takes us to higher ground. Did God waste Moses time when he spent 40 years on the back side of the desert? What about the years Paul spent in Arabia? There are no shortcuts to the life of faith — and some graces can only be discovered in the heaviness of the soul.
The key is surrender! Give it to Him! A drowning victim cannot help herself unless she surrenders to her rescuer. And our Lord has no interest in fighting our battles when we insist on fighting them ourselves. Faith and fear will both sail near your heart in moments of crisis — do not allow fear to take anchor there.
No one is immune to difficulties entering our lives. These days my prayer closet is full of desperate requests: A friend’s husband packs up and leaves; a cancer returns; a prodigal is arrested; a loved one dies; cultural oppression is crushing families. How do we reconcile such deep heartaches? Why would God allow Christians to suffer? These are timeless questions that plague men’s minds especially if you have not grounded your hope on the stability of God’s holy Word.
Now is the time to be in the word, worshipping, fellowshipping in church and growing a strong foundation because when tragedy strikes you want to fall on the rock and not the sinking sand. I can assure you God speaks loud and clear through His Word and it has never surprised me that during my most trying times that He has led me to the exact scripture designed just for me. It is a living Word: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
And oh…that initial public humiliation, (there were more to come!). My ministry and true calling were birthed out of those times where I fell flat on my face and then to my knees. What I initially looked at as a major “mom fail” became a springboard to understanding who my God was and who my children truly belonged to.
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Andrea Maher is the former editor-in-chief of PARENT ABC’S a monthly magazine. Her writings have been featured in local newspapers and parenting publications nationwide. She is the author of LETTERS TO MY SON: Soley a God Story and SLAMMED: Overcoming Tragedy in the Wave of Grief.
She is the executive director of the Be Still Foundation, a ministry that disseminates hope and encouragement to families in crisis. She has been married to her husband John for 44 years and has four children, and 10 grandchildren. https://bestillfoundation.org