The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth. Lamentations 3:25-27
I want to wish you and my daughter a hearty congratulations as you celebrate one year together. You have become a very important part of her life, and of course, as her parent, I have done my best to see what you are made of–to politely scrutinize, evaluate, nose in, inspect, analyze; and most of all, pray for you.
You have great strength of character, and I am grateful for my daughter’s discernment. I like that you are a runner—a discipline often talked about in scripture. The physical discipline of the body always spills over into other parts of life. I have witnessed your patient love and care for her as she has for you.
Though I haven’t met your family, I know a little about them from conversations and of course, Facebook, the socially acceptable form of snooping not available with my older children! Like my family, the youth of yours have borne a burden they did not create, and in some families, such injustice leads to destruction. Like Sarah, you have borne the burden well.
I was reminded of you as I read Jeremiah’s words this morning. He is writing to youth whose homes are destroyed, parents carried off in captivity, war and famine, and a great struggle ahead. It is such devastation! But Jeremiah says, “It is good.” My generation grew up in chaos. The political, social, and spiritual unrest is indescribable; and your generation witnesses the horrible brokenness that was left in the wake of throwing off the protective bands of Christianity, marriage, a strong work ethic, and so much more.
Sometimes I see your generation as wandering in the ravages of a lost war. We gave up when greed and power swept in and overtook the nation; and we turned inward rather than choosing to take it back. And now young people sit as the generation of young Jeremiah with an uncertain future. The words he wrote will carry you to success if you will put them into practice.
“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” I have found all of the answers I have needed for life in seeking God in the scriptures. I have memorized them, studied them, and embraced their infallible advice for life. I could not agree more with Jeremiah—it is good!
Jeremiah adds, “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” The pressures of life and the struggle to find significance and mission will only increase your strength of integrity. As a parent, I never know if I have sheltered too much or too little. Have I intervened to relieve the very struggle God intends as a good yoke of honor? The character flaws you find in one another may be a yoke of learning. Always remember that God says, “it is good.” He also says, “His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.”
I am no longer parenting children. I am advising and exhorting adults who are more precious to me than life. I pray that I will always be a part of the struggle of your youth, and that my words and actions will be life giving. My greatest legacy is my testimony. I walk with God in the secret place of the Most High. The Psalmist describes my life much better than me:
Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing. Psalm 37:24-26