How God’s Plans Succeed Even When Our Children Fail

Possibly my most embarrassing moment as a parent happened during my son’s senior year in high school. A late spring phone call from his English teacher alerted me his grades were inadequate to graduate on time.

The smartest person in our family was failing his senior year of high school because of the dumbest thing: he refused to complete his in-class English assignments.

Ironically, when he was in sixth grade, my son’s reading comprehension was at a twelfth-grade level, and he wanted to pursue an English major in college.

Facing the fact I had a child who might not graduate from high school was humiliating and unbelievable. Shock waves rippled through our extended family. I sent no graduation announcements, unsure we would attend.

When confronted with the issue, he offered no explanation or excuse; he simply shrugged. It was apparent I was more concerned than he was.

Since I enjoyed school and making good grades, it was difficult for me to understand his motives and choices. I often wondered what his thoughts were concerning his future. He always told me not to worry about it, but I did.

Throughout the long days of uncertainty, the scripture cited during his baby dedication (and one I frequently pray) kept returning to me:

“ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

God sent this message to the Israelites while they were captives in a foreign land. He encouraged them to settle down and to get comfortable because it was going to be many years before they would return home. Knowing that God knew them, had a plan for them, and had promised a future full of hope must have comforted them in their uncertain circumstance, especially since their rescue wasn’t imminent.

The Hebrew word for hope is “tiqvah” which literally means cord. Its root is “qavah” meaning bind together, wait for, or wait upon.

Susan Crews
Susan Crews
A lover of grace because of Jesus, wife, mother, optometrist, and "waiter," Susan writes to encourage hopeful living while waiting for prodigals. You are invited to join her in her waiting room at or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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