Earlier this year I came across a Bible verse during my morning devotional reading that took me by surprise.
“Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.”
—Ephesians 6:24 (ESV)
I had not previously run across this strong, unbreakable word in scripture. For a moment, I sat in awe of this word, of this verse, of its message. It took a hold of my heart as I considered yet again all my oldest son has endured this past year.
Our oldest, who is a quiet, analytical boy, was mentally crushed by the weight of the pandemic’s effect on his school setting. He saw his best friend since kindergarten move states away. He endured some of his life-long behavioral characteristics culminate into a diagnosis, then began therapy with a professional counselor, and decided just before spring break to finish out the school year virtually after some heart-breaking sessions of admittance to being “so lonely.”
In the midst of his year, his father took a job in another city, and we, his two brothers and I, have been preparing our home to sell and to move this summer. This has been accompanied with chats about and the truth of starting 6th grade – middle school – in a brand-new school in a brand-new town, in essence, by himself.
Many nights at tuck-in time, I have found myself stringing together the same scriptural verses of encouragement when my own momma words of support are lacking or are exhausted.
“Keep running this race set before you. Eyes on Jesus. With your eyes on Jesus, you will not grow weary, and you will not lose heart. For you can do all things through Jesus who gives you strength. Lift your eyes to the hills. Where does your help come from? Your help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip. He will be your shade at your right hand. For you were created with a purpose and a plan, a plan not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope.”
That morning when I read the newly found verse in Ephesians, I considered how it alone encompasses what I truly want to convey to our son.
Grace. The gift of grace. Grace to those who do not let the circumstances of life, the hardships of growing up, the matters beyond their control stand in the way of their love for the one who will lead them, the one who will protect them, the one who sustains them.
Grace to him who stands confident in his trials, who walks through the valleys, and who reaches the mountain top and sees the work of our Lord, sees the evidence of grace, and comes out with a love for Jesus truly uncorrupted by the journey.
We recently spent a weekend away as a family, reconnecting with each other and seeing some sights of God’s creation on a short road trip through West Texas and New Mexico. As we climbed trails up mountains and slid down some famous white sand dunes, I saw such joy and freedom in my oldest son— in all our sons.
I saw smiles and weightlessness and adventure. I saw this uncorrupted by the weight of his world and current circumstances. I saw grace in a gentle reminder that Jesus’ love will always prevail—it prevails over any situation any of us face. And that beckons a love, given back to Jesus, incorruptible.