In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. Ruth 1:1
I was there when each of our two sons prayed to Jesus and asked Him to live in their hearts. I was also there when each of our two sons was baptized. And I was there when each of our sons, not wanting to hurt my feelings, asked me to stop talking to them about Jesus.
For me, wife of one husband and mother of two sons, these are opposite sides of the same coin. The best of motherhood on one side and the worst of motherhood on the other, at least for a mother who committed herself to raising sons in a Christian home.
As each of our two sons prepared to leave home for college I gave each one my ‘flying the nest’ speech. It went something like this:
I’ve taught you all I know to teach you. I’ve told you all I know to tell you. And I’ve shown you all I know to show you. You’ve been raised in the truth of the Word of God – certainly not perfect, but I’ve given you my best. And so now, I send you out to find your own personal faith – to make it your own and to know that you know what you believe.
Honestly, both of our sons love me and respect me. They did then and they do now. I know for a fact neither one wanted to hurt me. I also know for a fact they left on their own journey each one two years apart hoping to leave the church/faith stuff at home like all the stuff they left in their closets.
As our oldest left home, I asked the Lord for a Scripture to use in prayer for this son. The Lord answered with abundant mercy to my weary mind, heart, and soul. He gave me a dream and truth from His word.
In my dream, I could see this son moving through an open door, which I was unable to walk through. I was terrified at first, but the Lord allowed me to stand at the door and look. To my pure delight, I could see our son walking with Jesus at his side, arm around our son’s shoulder, conversing and laughing along a pathway.
I awoke full of hope with this Scripture on my lips…
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
And I have been proclaiming this hopeful truth for our son regularly since 2009. Though he left our home in a spiritual famine, Jesus has been teaching me to worship Him through the truth of His word in prayer and continually holding up the dream He gave me for an anchor of hope.
As our second son left our home for college, I asked again for a Scripture through which to knot and anchor my prayers for him. This is the one who, after hearing my ‘flying the nest’ speech, left me with these words, “Mom, you have faith for me.” (In other words, you do it for me)
This last leaving was more painful. I felt the spiritual famine. My heart pleaded for a dream. No dream. And the Scripture the Lord gave me was this…
I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
My thoughts ran to Naomi (Ruth 1) and they still do at times. I wondered…often…many times with tears, “Lord, what does this mean?”
Give thanks even if my son is living in a spiritual famine? Declare you are good even if he doesn’t remember the truth sewn into the fabric of his being? Proclaim and stand on the truth that your steadfast love endures forever even if he never receives your love for him?
I’ve been praying, I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love for our son endures forever, as an act of worship since 2011.
And yes… it is true… and I do… Give thanks to You God. You are good. Your steadfast love endures forever…. even in the midst of spiritual famine.
- Are you in a spiritual famine season?
- What emotions are bubbling up as you read about worship through a season of spiritual famine? Will you record these emotions in a journal?
- Will you take your thoughts, your questions, your emotions into the Throne Room of God, sit at Jesus’ feet and ask Counselor Holy Spirit to help you filter it all through the truth of God’s Word?
- Will you allow God to teach you to praise and worship Him through the famine season? We give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever. Amen.