What’s your favorite old-time show? One of mine is I Dream of Jeannie. Who doesn’t fantasize about having a personal Jeannie? We fantasize because it’s fun to imagine obtaining what we’d never be able to gain. But we know such power is false. God’s power is real. So what would be your greatest request of God?
Here’s what one mom asked Jesus to grant for her sons:
“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
“‘What is it you want?’ he asked.
“She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’
Sounds like a reasonable request to ask. If you’re going to seek favors from the King of kings why not request the best seats in heaven?
Before mental illness (MI) struck your child, were you like that mom? Did you wish only the best for him? Did you have grand aspirations for him? MI has a way of adjusting the prayers for our kids.
Listen to how Christ responded to that mom’s request.
“‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’
“‘We can,’ they answered.
“Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father (Matthew 20:20-23).’”
Christ’s response hinted at the sons’ future suffering. He also foretold of the suffering He would endure on the cross.
That familiar passage offers hope to me, for life in heaven and for my time on earth. I’ll be eternally grateful for Christ’s gift of salvation. He endured agony and sorrow for my sake. He experienced extreme torment, pain, and suffering. Therefore it’s a comfort He understands my son’s torment and pain.
Christ sympathizes with my sorrow as well. Not only does MI cause distress to Chris, but it brings tremendous heartache to me. Jesus knows what it’s like to endure deep sorrow. It helps when Someone understands what I’m going through.
Like any mom of a child with MI, I yearn for the day my son is restored to good mental health. The restoration of Israel described in Isaiah 54:11 symbolizes what I envision for Chris.
“You poor city [Afflicted one]. Storms have hurt [battered; tossed] you, and you have not been comforted. But I will rebuild you with turquoise stones [gems], and I will build your foundations with sapphires [or lapis lazuli] (EXB).”
Like any mother, my greatest desire is for Chris to be content. I pray for the GREAT peace God promised Israel in Isaiah 54:13.
“All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.”