We all know the struggle is real as a parent. The struggle to keep hope alive. To choose to ‘believe’ that God is up there and watching, engaged in our lives and actively seeking our good.
But there are days when that belief is strained to the breaking point.
There are dozens and dozens of days that I look back on and wonder how I made it through. How did I not just chuck it all and bail? How in the world did I stick it out and not give up?
Simple answer… GOD’S GRACE.
It’s always a temptation to give up – throw our proverbial hands in the air and just surrender to despair and doubt and walk away. For parents you can do everything right and still seem like you’ve failed.
For parents who are raising teens, this can be a daily or weekly event. Those promises of God you scribbled down on sticky notes and taped to your desk or fridge, don’t forget them. The word of God highlighted in your bible until the pages tear… it’s real. The faith we’ve so carefully nursed along through missed mortgage payments, cancer, and marital strife, it’s true and tested no matter how we feel.
Yet…it can seem so fragile.
But hang on a sec. Our lives and circumstances are usually crazy. The forces that push us around can seem overwhelming and dark, but that’s only if we forget whose we are. Our strength was never based on how well we performed, never built on a foundation of self reliance and personal will power. If we’re a Christ-follower, a believer in the savior and Messiah – Jesus, then we’re supposed to rely on HIS strength.
That means we’re NOT the key ingredient in our lives or our faith. HE IS. Our eternal destinies and that of our kids are NOT dependent on us. It is the irresistible pull of God to align us and our families into perfect sync with His Kingdom. In His time, and in His way.
So… unclench your fists. Take deep – slow – breaths… God is still GOD. HE is still at the helm of our lives. His will is going to occur and His plans are going to succeed. We are not victims lost in the floods of life, we are protected and purposed by Him.
Go get your promises out and lay them before God in prayer, remind Him of your need for hope, for encouragement, for peace. Make it a regular habit to ask Him to show up in your despair, to believe He’s going to miraculously realign your life and circumstances according to His will. As you ask for help remember to choose to praise Him for the answer. To look forward in anticipation for His perfect solution… even before you see it.
It is the ‘goodness’ of Gods character that we are being trained to trust in. The outcome of our lives is not depending on our merit or hard work, just HIS GOODNESS.
For our mental perspective to shift all we have to do is recall to mind and more importantly our hearts, the faithfulness of God to meet ALL our needs. He was God over the impossible in the past and He will be God over the impossible today.
Remember we are but dust, and when our faith is only an ember, it is HIS strength that will carry the day. St. Paul said it this way… “His strength is made perfect in our weakness”.
So parents – what could be more reassuring than that?
Suggested link: Here is a great interview with one of my spiritual fathers, Pastor Duane Sheriff. He and his wife Sue have a fantastic perspective on parenting when we feel like a failure. Available at Brilliantly Brave Parenting on Soundcloud, iTunes, and YouTube.