When your children are babies, the parents worry about feeding them the right things, exposing them to educational toys and music for brain development. As they grow and go to school, there is anxiety about what kind of friends they are making, if there are bullies on the playground and when they should start to play sports or an instrument. As your child enters middle and high school the choice become more long lasting and harder for you as a parent to control. Then your child gets their driver's license, makes themselves vulnerable to try-outs for varsity teams and theatrical performances. There are worries over if they are being exposed to alcohol, drugs, pressures of sexual activity, and are their grades and test scored going to be good enough to get into the college they desire. It's not long afterwards that the amount of apprehension rises to a completely different level over careers, homes to purchase (or not), spouses, grandkids and the whole list starts over again! Is there no end to things to worry about?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:25-26 NIV
Most of the issues in our life, we really can't do anything about! I cannot make other children like my child, sit with them at lunch or pick them first for kick ball. When my children were small, these seemed like such big problems. To take him to a school with ages ranging from five to twelve, the majority of whom I didn't know and leave them to handle the issues alone could be worrisome. Grammar school seemed so important. Before I knew it we had sons in high school, driving and going on their first date! At every stage in our lives there are circumstances that can be hard to handle, questions too big for us to answer and serious choices that we have no idea what is the correct decision.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NIV
My sweet prayer-warrior friend gave me a book a few weeks ago, It's Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lisa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. There are many great insights in this book, but one that has stuck with me is the discussion about the myth: "God won't give you more than you can handle." What a lie! Of course He will! If I could handle all the issues that come into my life, I wouldn't need a Savior. Our sovereign, omnipotent God, allows troubles, disappointments, brokenness and betrayals to be part of our life, to teach us to depend on His will and provision. When He gives us more than we can handle, He is teaching us to let go, so He can handle it.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Psalm 103:13-19 NIV
The purpose of this week's post is to encourage you to open your hand, hold onto your precious child a little less tightly. There will be times when your child is left out, looses an election, does not get chosen for a team and may need to go to a dance without a date. Although our hearts will break with theirs, the important thing to remember is our God is on His throne. Your ABBA Father is the perfect parent, who knows exactly what His children need in order to grow in the image of His perfect son. The Son also knows how you feel. He has overcome rejection, ridicule, torture, death. He triumphed over all of these to leave the tomb behind and rule the universe, and yet He is willing to stoop down, hold our hand as He walks with us through all the muck. We are not meant to do life alone, in our own strength, without any bumps or bruises. We are meant to do it WITH your Savior and this is the lesson we are to teach our children.
“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33 NIV
Money can purchase many things. Happiness, satisfaction, courage, determination and perseverance are not for sale. The only way to learn these attributes is through rejection and failure. These are not things we wish to be poured out on anyone, but look at the blessings that bloom! Learning to walk in full faith of the Father, trusting what he allows and holds back in our lives is a lesson that will carry us further and with more long lasting successes than any other we can learn during our earthly journey. Sweet child of the King, open your hand and let go of what you are holding on to so tightly. Elohim is faithful.
Keep walking, sweet friend.
Mighty Yehovah God, Elohim, Adonai who loves us so completely. We cannot understand the depth and breadth of Your devotion to us. The trials and troubles we must endure for Your glory are often mysterious and confusing. We may never know the "why" on this earth, but we trust in Your sovereign wisdom, eternal knowledge and perfect plan. If we can praise You when good gifts come to our lives, then we will choose to praise You when trouble finds us. Take my life, and my precious children, teach us to walk in Your ways, obeying every precept, not just the ones we like. May Your holy name, HaShem, be glorified forever. Amen