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.”
Thank you for this post. It is also my greatest desire for my Joshua to be restored. I right now am battling fear and doubt. Josh entered a treatment program that was suppose to work with him both on his addiction and also his mental illness. Today he called me to tell me that he had been kicked out due to verbal aggression. He told me that he was going to see his counselor but I don’t know if he ever did. I am feeling there is a force that is trying to keep my son from finding the help he needs. My biggest concern is that he won’t be able to fight the illness and addiction anymore and will just say no more. He basically told me this today. I have to trust my Lord that he loves my son so much more than I do and will protect him and keep him from himself.
As you can tell from my blog, you know that I can empathize with what you’re going through. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with Joshua’s situation while battling fear and doubt. Been there, done that.
I know the struggle of trying to discern what’s true when someone with MI tells you something (like Joshua saying he was going to see his counselor).
Anyone reading your reply could tell you clearly are in a war…with words like ‘battling’, ‘force’, and ‘aggression.’ When things get bad with MI it surely can feel like a war.
That’s why your final sentence is so powerful: “I have to trust my Lord that he loves my son so much more than I do and will protect him and keep him from himself.” What a powerful testimony! In the midst of it all, you’re keeping your focus on your Lord.
I’ll keep Joshua and you in prayer.
As a way of hooking up with you arm-in-arm, I’d like to share an encouraging message our pastor recently gave in church. Pastor Joe Focht had been addressing Ephesians 6:10-13. He spoke like a coach, sending us into battle with the message that we’ve already won (because He’s already won!). It was a great biblical reminder for us to reflect on when the enemy attacks our minds with doom and gloom. The video of his message can be found at this link: