The first time I saw my oldest son Clayton, he was three days old. I gazed down at him through a haze of pain and medication, unable to bring his face or our future into focus.
In the week before, my lungs had failed without warning. Clayton came 10 weeks earlier than we expected him, while I lay in a coma on life support. His birth had gone horribly wrong, and that day in the NICU, I was scared everything else I’d planned for us might go wrong too.
I thought we’d used up all our miracles, this boy and I.
Like my son, I was the child of a pastor, and I memorized this verse long before I entered school:
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (Colossians 3:20).
As a daughter, I wrapped the burden of obey around my tiny shoulders — dutiful compliance to my mother and father in order to please my God.
As a mom, I feel the weight of this verse fall in a much different place: in everything.Obey your parents in everything. Follow them, imitate them, carry out their wishes in all ways. Model your life after them, because in doing so, you’ll please the Lord.
Leading is heavier than following.
In my quest to be an in everything kind of mom, I have failed on many days and in many ways. Clayton, while a joy to me and his father, hasn’t always had the obey part down either.
Neither mattered that much in the end — at least not how I thought it would.
Getting this verse right doesn’t please the Lord because it adds points to our score, making us more fit for heaven.
Getting this verse right pleases God because it reflects the Son’s obedience to the Father — sending up a fragrance of the Christ who has pleased Him on our behalf for all things (Hebrews 13:21, Matthew 3:17, Matthew 17:5, Colossians 1:25).The leading — the following — both designed to shine light on His plan and His glory.
Last night, my impossibly tiny baby walked across the stage to collect his high school diploma. We have limped and learned and laughed together for 19 years. I have cried at least once a week this past year in anticipation of this day, but in the end, our successes have only shouted God’s faithfulness and our failures have only magnified His mercy.
We haven’t used up our miracles. Every day has been soaked in them — grace from the Son who obeyed and pleased His Father.
Christ has been for us what we could not be for each other, and it has been and will always be good.