After worrying about her son away at college for the first time, Claire McGarry sees the hand of God in how it all works out.
My husband and I spent the entire summer giving our high school graduate pep-talks about trying new things in college and joining extra-curricular clubs. Zack’s never been much of a joiner. He only did one or two after-school clubs during the entire four years of his high school career, no matter how much we pushed.
We want college to be the place where he broadens his horizons, learns new things, meets new people, and forms lasting friendships. That being said, when he actually went off to college in August, we had to back off and let him lead his own life.
It was very painful at first.
Zack’s roommate is very quiet and goes home most weekends. When we got the text that first Saturday that Zack was just hanging out in his room all weekend, alone, doing homework and laundry, it was heartbreaking. Once again, we tried to encourage him via text messages and phone calls to join a club, get involved. But in the end, all we could do was pray.
Lo and behold, Zack joined the rugby club! We couldn’t believe it! Zack hates playing sports, and always complained as a kid when we signed him up for a team. What’s even more incredible is the team prays together before meals and games (and it’s not even a Catholic college)! We couldn’t have asked for more.
My husband and I can pretend it was our encouragement that inspired Zack to join the rugby club, or it was his commitment to trying new things. I believe the real truth is: God showed up when our son needed Him most, prompting Him to action in an answer to prayers.
“God has come to help His people.” (Luke 7:16, NIV)
In Luke 7, when a widow’s son dies in Nain, his body is being carried out of the city gates right as Jesus is coming in. When Jesus sees the mother’s tears, His heart goes out to her, and He raises up her son.
When Jesus performed miracles in other towns, the people always reacted with fear, wonder, or complete confusion. Moreover, their attention always went to the details: breaking the Sabbath, interacting with untouchables, and so on.
Not in Nain. Right away, the people declare “God has come to help His people.” They recognize that the details don’t matter. It’s not about the how or the what. It’s about the Who, and that He shows up when His people need Him most.
At first, we may not recognize God’s hand at work. It’s only when we put aside our own pride and biases that we see Him at the root of the change that always leads to good.
Copyright 2022 Claire McGarry
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary, and the Lenten family devotionals With Our Savior and Abundant Mercy. Claire is a regular contributor to Living Faith, and her freelance work has appeared in several books, magazines, and devotionals. She blogs weekly at Shifting My Perspective, and lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.