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  • Stacy Sanchez

Parenting, Again?!: Can You Give Me Ten Years




I have always loved the Bible story in Acts chapter nine, about Ananias. Not the one who got struck dead by God for lying. That Ananias can be found four chapters earlier. Although, that is kind of a fun story. What if that happened today? We’d be in trouble.

No, the story about the calling of Saul.

In Damascus, there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight” Acts 9:10-12 (NIV).

Can. You. Even. Imagine?

Saul had been hunting down and torturing the Jewish followers of Jesus and now God wanted Ananias to seek out Saul to lay hands on him, bless him, and restore his sight?

Thankfully, Ananias didn’t balk, or he may have ended up with the same fate as the previous Ananias.

Have you ever felt like God told you to do something you didn’t want to do? I sure have. I remember it clearly.

Years ago, my husband and I decided to bring his niece home to live with us. Her parents were neglectful, and she needed a loving home. We raised her as our daughter, along with our three sons. Because of the abuse she experienced, there were several issues that came with her. Sadly, our love was not enough to overcome her pain. But we tried. And tried. And tried.

As often happens, if not healed, generational wounds get repeated. She had a son whom she also abused and neglected. A life of drugs--and even worse—was no place for a child. At my wit's end, I called the police to locate our grandson. Our daughter and her pimp were arrested and our grandson was taken from her by Child Protection Services and placed in our care.

Unfortunately, my husband and I are not the only ones having to raise a grandchild. The last U.S. census revealed that 2.7 million grandparents have stepped up to be responsible for their grandchildren because of the parents’ neglect due to drugs, alcohol, or psychiatric issues.

Although I had a feeling it might come to this, it is NOT what I wanted to do. We were empty nesters. We enjoyed being empty nesters. With all the heartache we had gone through raising our daughter, we felt like we deserved to enjoy being empty nesters. This should be our reward for being faithful, right? We raised our children. We worked hard to do the best we could, and now we wanted to retire, maybe travel, and enjoy one another. This was our time.

As I was complaining about my plight to the Lord, I heard Him speak to me in the quiet of my heart.

Can you give me ten years?

I wish I could tell you that I was as responsive as Ananias. But I wasn’t. I balked.

But God, we’ve already gone through this pain with his mother. It almost cost us our marriage, family, and finances. You’re asking us to do it again? I don’t know if I can, Lord. Will you hate me if I say no?

I didn’t hear anything else from God. But I knew I had a decision to make. Would I give God ten more years? Would I put aside my hopes and dreams and do what He asked of me?

When you have a hard decision to make, what do you do? I pray and look to the Bible for help. The story of the calling of Ananias helped me make my decision.

What kind of man must Ananias have been that God knew He could count on him to help launch Saul into ministry?

· Devout because he recognized God’s voice immediately.

· Faithful because he knew that Saul could kill him like the others, but he went anyway.

· Trustworthy because God trusted him with Saul who was about to be launched into a very important ministry to the Gentiles and the world.

· Obedient because he left immediately and did exactly what God said to do.

· Forgiving because he called Saul his brother.

· Loved God more than his own life because he could have lost it.

I want to be like Ananias. I want to love God more than my own life and for Him to be able to count on me to do what He’s asked—even if I don’t want to.

I said, yes.

Has it been easy? Heck no! It’s been awful!

Have I regretted saying yes? If I’m honest, sometimes. (Oh, the guilt of saying that!)

Raising our grandson has been even harder than raising his mother. Thankfully, God didn’t show me ahead of time what we were in for. I may have said, no.

But I said, yes. And even with everything we are dealing with now, I still say, yes.

Lord Jesus, sometimes, You ask us to do hard things. Sometimes, really hard things. Help us to remember that You won’t ask us to do anything You’re not willing to empower us to do. – Amen


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