Years ago I watched the movie called, “The Impossible”. It was based on the true story of a family engulfed in the waters of a large tsunami in Thailand. Confronted with unimaginable obstacles, the parents were desperate to find their children and each other. They would not give up no matter the cost. The physical, mental, and emotional waves of agony from their circumstances would cause any parent to be fearful, distressed and in crisis.
Today, there are waves of crisis pulling many parents under through their hurting teen. In the eyes of the parent, their problems look too big and impossible to change for the better. These types of crises vary from family to family: suicidal attempts, mental illness, drug overdose, self-harming, risky behaviors, running away, etc…
What about you my dear parent? Do you feel like you are drowning in the sea of hopelessness with little faith to survive? Are you tired and weary of the fight and want to give up?
Let’s read this story and see who else was worried with fear, anxiety and little faith.
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:35-41 NASB
This passage of scripture tells you a lot about the character of the disciples and Jesus’ response to a very serious situation. By taking a closer look, this is what we know.
- Jesus slept through a storm.
- The disciples feared they would drown.
- The disciples thought that Jesus didn’t care about them or their situation.
- Their faith was questioned.
- At Jesus’ command, the seas and the wind became calm.
I don’t know about you, but I felt like I was going to drown from my teen’s many crises. I lived with fear, worry, and even torment. My faith was a small flicker of flame ready to go out. I also questioned if God really cared about our family. To be honest I knew He did, but sometimes it didn’t feel like it. All I could see were continuing crises which never seemed to quit.
As I cried out for help, God did answer. It wasn’t right away and not always in the way I wanted. In fact, through His response, He showed me how I focused too much on the problem instead of the problem solver – God.
During that period of time in my faith, I discovered some parallels between this story and our own lives as parents with a teen in crisis.
- During the midst of the storm, not just in the disciples’s boat but in our family today, He continues to be in control. Although I did not see things dramatically change when I prayed, it did not mean that God wasn’t working in my teen’s heart and life. He was and He never ceased.
- My fears were not much different than those of the disciples. As the waves continued to get stronger and stronger, their fears got larger. Whenever my teen made poor decisions and ended up in a serious crisis, my fears were elevated to the point in which I was afraid a tragedy would take my child’s life.
- God cares all the time. He would never leave or forsake me. He was and still is concerned about my family. Whether it was immediate or through time, God continued to shower our family with grace and mercy, especially towards our teen. He never stopped.
- Jesus knew what little faith the disciples had during the storm. God uses tests of faith for us to see how much we rely and trust in Him. Our faith can either plummet or rise to the occasion. I never grew spiritually when I allowed my faith to weaken. Today I know that if I don’t stand firm in my faith, I cannot stand at all. Faith grows from crises.
- The Lord’s power takes a problem that seems impossible in our eyes and changes it to a possibility through His authority.
Jesus is not sleeping through the wave of crises that you are going through right now. He already knows the outcome. He wants you to remain strong in faith and to trust in His plan. He WILL calm your storm and give you peace.
So what do you do as you wait out the tsunami waves in your teen’s life?
- Pray: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” Yes, it is hard to pray sometimes. God however, knows our heart and deep groanings too difficult to express. Romans 8:26 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
- Read the Word – Wisdom, power, healing, and discernment come through reading His Word daily. Use the scriptures and pray them as your words as well as meditate on them throughout the day to give you strength and peace. Incorporate your teen’s name within the verse to make the prayer more intimate to the needs of your teen.
- Listen to Christian music that gives encouragement and uplifts your spirit during difficult times.
- Take Counsel – unload your heavy burden through clergy, counsel, trusted friend. Don’t carry the weight of your crisis on your own.
- Be united with your spouse or family member that also cares deeply for your child. Pray together or have them pray for your teen.
I leave you with this song. You are NOT alone. God truly understands your weariness in this battle.
Photo Courtesy of Ruth Carlsen. If you would like to see more of her works, please click on the post photo to visit her site. Ruth is a co-worker and friend who has a wonderful gifting in photography. Thank you Ruth!