Children of Tears
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. HEBREWS 11:35, NIV
One thing we painfully learn throughout life, either by direct experience or observation, is that rebellious children can come from any type of home. But even as they run from God and from us, and even in our anguish and frustration, we must hold them before God in prayer, trusting Him to lead them home. One of the greatest examples of this is Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine. She watched him spend his teenage and young adult years rejecting her Christian faith while outdoing his friends in seeking sinful pleasures.
At one point she persuaded him to meet with an unnamed bishop from North Africa. The bishop refused to speak to Augustine because he considered him as yet unteachable. Even though the meeting proved unsuccessful, the bishop comforted Monica in her distress, saying, “It is impossible that the son of so many tears should perish” (from Confessions, St. Augustine). You may well know the rest of the story: The Lord God dramatically converted Augustine in his Roman garden, urging him to “take and read” the words of the Scriptures that would open his eyes to the wickedness of sin and the promises of Christ. Only the mother of a prodigal can quite understand the joy in Monica’s heart when she held her now-grown son in her arms, rescued by God’s grace and a mother’s prayerful tears.
She died nine days later—her purpose in living fulfilled. And Augustine went on to become one of the
most influential figures in Church history. Oh, how the grief that can well up inside of us when we watch a child push God away! Barbara and I have experienced the pain and sorrow that never seem to let up. But we’ve also found comfort as our concern and tears were routed to God through prayer, knowing that He never stops seeking their restless hearts.
If you have a child who is breaking your heart, share with one another your concern, disappointment and sorrow.
Beg the Lord to redeem His wayward children, by whatever means will get them back. And pray that you will have hearts whose hope is in God.