They may not always tell you, but your kids need you. It doesn't matter how old they are or what stage of life they're in - if they have any kind of relationship with you, they need you. And if I'm being really honest, I want my kids to want me. I want them to move out at some point, and then want to come back whenever they can...to visit.
Until then, I do all I can to cultivate a healthy relationship with them. One of the ways I do this is by telling them I am proud of them. My son Caleb turns 21 this week, and it's hard to believe all he's been through in those 21 years. But when I look at the man he is becoming, I am proud to be his father! I wonder if that's how Timaeus felt?!? In Mark 10, we don't know a lot about him, but we see who his son has become...and there probably wasn't much to be proud of. Read his story and you will see why:
"They came to Jericho. As Jesus and His disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a BLIND man, Bartimaeus (which means "Son of Timaeus") was sitting by the roadside begging..." (Mark 10:46)
This probably wasn't what Timaeus dreamed about when the doctors told him he was the proud father of a bouncing baby boy. When he thought about who this baby would become, being a blind beggar never made the list. But Jesus doesn't look at who we were before He touched us; He looks at who we become once He does! Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by and started shouting His name. That is when Jesus asked him a question that would change everything:
"What do you want me to do for you?"...The blind man said, 'Rabbi, I want to see.'
'Go...your faith has healed you.' Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road." (Mark 10:51-52)
When it comes to prayer, I think there are some great lessons we can learn.
1. Are we about calling Jesus desperately? Bartimaeus began to shout to get Jesus' attention...and when people told him to be quiet, he shouted all the more! His persistence is what got Jesus' attention that day. I'm sure Jesus heard him, but when he shouted all the more, that showed he was desperate to get Jesus to stop and help. Are we?
2. Are we answering correctly? Once Jesus had stopped and he came to Him, Jesus didn't beat around the bush. Can you imagine what would've happened if Bart gave an answer other than "I want to see"?!? When we come to Him, it is important that we tell Jesus exactly what is on our heart. Bart did, and his life was different because of that.
3. Are you still following closely? The Bible doesn't tell "the rest of the story", but maybe that's because it is supposed to make us look at our own story. If you've been with Jesus "along the road" for a little while, you've seen Him do amazing things for you and in you and through you. Once those things are in your rearview mirror, are you still following Him? Once Jesus does what we wanted Him to do for us, there is a temptation to say thank you, leave the scene, and never be heard from again. The real miracle happen after He touches you and changes you...and then you follow Him - telling your story so that others can meet Him, too.
As you pray this week, get alone with God and spend some time asking Him those questions - you might be surprised at how He answers!