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TITLE: The treasure is in the trip
By Nicole Harkonen
02/29/08
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“Oh Lord, I lift him up to you and I pray for help. Here I am, in desperation again! He’s twelve and the task of parenting this young man seems impossible for me. All we do is argue. He says black is white and I say black is black and white is white. This is NOT the kind of relationship I wanted to have with my son. Please God, I pray for some peaceful time together; I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”

If this prayer is familiar to anyone, be encouraged by my story.

God came through and answered my prayer better than I could have imagined.

…This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Do not be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15 N.L.T

Not long after I cried this prayer out to our Lord, it was answered in such an unexpected way. The Lord revealed a new hobby to our family; one that involves all of us and one that we all happen to really enjoy. This hobby takes us away from phones, computer, TV, loud music, and friends banging on the door. This hobby lures us outside, taking us on some amazing adventures in the wilderness, where we are in constant awe of God’s creation. We are given the opportunity to learn from one another, take in some beautiful sites, and experience some quiet air space for chit chat – or not. More times than not, though, we engage in some pretty neat conversations that aren’t full of fighting, yelling, and disagreement.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 N.L.T.

Upon arrival of our destination, we are to use our clues and co-ordinates to find some hidden treasure. Once the treasure is found, the idea is to sign the log book, take some treasure, and leave some treasure for the next person. On our first few hunts, success, for me personally was based on whether we found the treasure; this is not always a guarantee. Discouragement and game moral were at an all-time low if we happened to get “skunked.” (We all hate coming away empty handed)

It wasn’t until after the fourth or fifth trip, during a journal entry, when the light went on and I realized what exactly was taking place. God had answered my prayer by using this new game.

For me now, when I think of all the amazing things that take place on these adventures, I have to say that the treasure is in the trip and everything else seems only to be but a bonus.

This week has been nothing less than difficult with our son and a small voice whispered in my head that I shouldn’t share this cool news as things are far from perfect and I have not yet come close to finding the complete answer to raising a happy teen.

Fortunately, I have some good friends that encouraged me to do so anyway. They reminded me where the voice was coming from and that I have to hold tight, knowing that there will be good days and not so good days, to remember the times that were good, remind myself of the things that work, and to remember that two imperfect parents will never raise a perfect child.

O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you heard or understood? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of all the earth? He never grows weary or faint. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on the wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 41:27-31 N.L.T
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