Monday, November 21, 2011

I Can but I Cannot

Most every mother (or parent for that matter) who has a sense of heaven and hell and our need for reconciliation before God, lives with an urgent desire that our children come to repentance and faith. I myself have struggled with this very issue since our first child was in the womb. Prayers without number often accompanied with many tears have ascended to God on behalf of these 6 precious children that we have received. Sometimes over the years their case has become so desperate and urgent for me that it became my constant thought, and I would long for and look for any sign of them sensing their sins and need of a Savior, and would feel so helpless when it wasn’t found. This reality often would almost lead me to despair until the Lord showed me clearly that it is not in my hands. I knew this in my head but I so desperately desired it for them, I almost was acting as if I could accomplish it. And so I press on as before with much prayer and expectation, using every opportunity that I can to speak to them but yet realizing that God is just and still good whether He would save them or not.
The following poem from an unknown author echoes what lives in my heart.
I gave you life,
but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things,
 but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions,
 but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom,
but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church,
but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong,
 but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes,
but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice,
but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love,
but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share,
but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect,
but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends,
but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex,
but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life,
but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink,
but I can't say "no" for you.
I can warn you about drugs,
but I can't prevent you from using them.
I can teach you about kindness,
but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins,
but I cannot make you moral.
I can love you as a child,
but I cannot place you in God's family.
I can pray for you,
but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can tell you how to live,
but I cannot give you eternal life.

I end with a plea then to you my dear children which God Himself speaks in Isaiah 55, “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.


  1. This could have been written by me. Every single word of it.
    Many tears. Many prayers. But in the end, God is sovereign. The work is His and His alone - we wouldn't change that, either.

    And so we pray on. May you be blessed soon by seeing each one of your precious ones coming to know the Saviour. This is my longing for all of mine too.
    Blessings x

  2. Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!