Independence Day Worship Celebration: The privileges of being an American citizen are unlike any other country in the world. The responsibilities of being a Christ-follower are unlike any other calling. Join us during our morning services on July 2nd as we consider our part in “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
One of the challenges of parenting — and by extension developing people — is knowing when to step in, and when to let them struggle. Think, for example, of teaching children how to tie their shoes. A flapping lace, and a sprinting child, could launch a Little Leaguer into the stands. And YouTube stardom. But no parent wants to be tying the shoes of a twelve year old. So, at some point in the journey, we instruct, stop stepping in, sit on our hands, and watch our kids struggle to learn how to tie those laces. Even if one is flapping as they run the bases. Of course, as those children grow up, the stakes get higher, and getting launched into the stands seems cute by comparison. With fear and trembling (and doubled insurance premiums) parents hand car keys to sixteen year olds, send eighteen year olds to Basic Training, hand the hands of precious daughters in marriage to quasi-gorilla sons in law. And find that, no matter the season, it’s still hard to know when to step in, and when to let them struggle. What parents and people developers of all sorts want for those they care about is to grow — and grow up. And there’s something about the struggle that helps us learn, helps us grow, helps us grow up. Because somehow the struggle — whether learning how to tie shoes, or live with a spouse after tying the knot — strengthens. God our Father wants His children to grow — and to grow up. Which means He sometimes allows strength to be developed through struggle. He, however, is never confused, never conflicted about when to step in and when to let us struggle. Because He, like a parent teaching a child how to tie shoes, never stepped out in the first place. He is, rather, our strength, our sustainer in the struggle. So, this summer we’re going to learn how God supplies the strength, and sustenance, for us to grow. And grow up.