“My son came home from the university,” our preacher friend told us one night at the dinner table, “and he said to me, ‘Dad, I’ve been studying and learning. And I’m just not sure I can follow your simple Christian faith any longer.’ ”

We could picture our friend as he skewered his son with his piercing black eyes and replied, “Son, that is your freedom—your terrible freedom.”

There may be parents reading this who have a child who has said the same thing or its equivalent. But God has ways.

Commenting on Proverbs 21:1, Matthew Henry says, “God can change men’s minds, can turn them from that which they seemed most intent upon, as the husbandman, by canals and gutters, turns the water through his grounds, which does not alter the nature of the water, nor put any force upon it, any more than God’s providence does upon the native freedom of man’s will, but directs the course of it to serve his own purpose.”

William Barclay writes that in prayer we must remember: (1) The love of God that wants what is best for us; (2) The wisdom of God that knows what is best for us; and (3) The power of God that can accomplish it. This applies also to those we love.

When I was in college, the Wheaton Men’s Glee Club had a special number they saved for an encore that went like this:

If a nest of wild hornets

Were left in this room

And the creatures allowed to go free;

They would not compel you to go ‘gainst your will,

They’d just make you willing to flee.

So look up! If you are God’s you have all of his promises on your side.

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