Life is filled with a series of phases and stages that you go through and experience. At this point in life, I am entering my 19th year as a parent cheerleader. As long as schools re-open this fall and sports follow, I will be spending my final two years turning my attention toward my daughter’s accomplishments. Today, my youngest son’s final competition as a high school athlete came to an end. I was praying for a story book ending to highlight Daniel’s dedication and hard work to become an established golfer. As his front nine was derailed by back to back 3 putts, I was tempted to walk away. Yet, when a child’s dreams turn into a nightmare, God reminded me to stand by Daniel’s side when things fall apart.
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1.
At the beginning of his 12th chapter, the author of Hebrews makes an interesting observation. Referring to saints in the previous chapter who have gone home to be with the Lord, their new role is to be cheerleaders in heaven. These witnesses are praying and watching, hoping for the best. These individuals all contain one crucial quality, a faith to stand upon the promises of an invisible God. Based upon their spiritual accomplishments, these spiritual warriors set the bar high. This tough act to follow often makes me humble as the read and study the Bible. I probably would have wilted under the pressure these men and women faced. Yet, the grace of God offered in the New Testament gives me the strength to tarry on.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers, Galatians 6:9-10.
The apostle explains the importance of standing by the side of your child in the passage above. When the walls around your child start falling down and collapsing upon them, parents need to be a source of encouragement. A light of hope to help our boys and girls try to climb out of pits of despair. Perhaps, this is when moms and dads need to remind our children of brighter days. When they dominated in Little League, scored the game winning goal, won a race, made the play of the game or led their team to a championship. For those of you parents still in the cheerleader stage of parenthood, fight off the urge to criticize officials, refs and umpires. Don’t be that parents who’s tyrant goes viral on social media, becoming infamous for the wrong reasons. Although your child may lose their composure in the heat of battle, stand by their side with the hands, feet and love of Jesus.
by Jay Mankus