As I come to type my thoughts for the week, my mind is encouraged by the verses and devotional thoughts that I copied into this post earlier this week.
I just got done trying to help my seventh grade daughter do some math. She is in a small Christian school that is using a good online Christian curriculum to teach her as it can’t afford teachers for the seven junior high and high school students. Her semester is over this Friday, and she needs to finish chapters in all her subjects to get a final grade for the semester.
Online is just not working for her (especially as I am not really overseeing it with me teaching Kindergarten all day), and the end of the year cannot come fast enough when there are tears and strife throughout the week. Yet, I know in one respect, that this is good for her. God has allowed it into our lives for a reason. Difficulty grows us. It can make us stronger. It should make us turn to God for His comfort and strength. It can refine us and make us learn how to be kind in the face of adversity and to learn perseverance when you just want to give up.
If we allow it . . .
This is where I can fret and worry as a momma. The anger and hurt that is in her at the moment can also harden her if she will not allow God to help her. In one respect, this is also good for me. I can only pray for her — and God will have to take over. I don’t always know how to handle the “teaching” times we have together as I am trying to help her in her subjects. I go back and forth from being tough — “You need to work hard at home; you need to manage your time well, do not talk to me that way,” etc. and being understanding and loving — “I understand; this is not ideal; it is hard; this will not be forever; you just do your best and I’m happy with whatever happens,” etc.”
I always have said since she was born, that parenting is the most humbling thing that can happen to a person. We do not have all the answers. We do make mistakes; and we need the Lord! He is the only one that can take us sinful people, give us sinful children, and end up using us for His glory. That is a miracle! So as I sit here tonight, aching for my junior high girl (I remember those junior high years!), I see these notes:
Nowhere does the Bible teach that Christians are to be exempt from the tribulations and natural disasters that come upon the world. It does teach that the Christian can face tribulation, crisis, calamity, and personal suffering with a supernatural power that is not available to the person outside Christ. The early Christians were able to experience joy in their hearts in the midst of trials, troubles, and depression. They counted suffering for Christ not as a burden or misfortune, but as a great honor, as evidence that Christ counted them worthy to witness to Him through suffering. They never forgot what Christ Himself had gone through for their salvation; and to suffer for His name’s sake was regarded as a gift rather than a cross. Christians can rejoice in tribulation because they have eternity’s values in view. When the pressures are on, they look beyond their present predicaments to the glories of heaven. The thought of the future life with its prerogatives and joys helps to make the trials of the present seem light and transient.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:17-18
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
When you become a Christian, it doesn’t mean that you will live on a perpetual “high.” The Psalmist David went down to the very depths, and so did the Apostle Paul. But in the midst of all circumstances God’s grace, peace, and joy are there. The tears will still come, the pressures will be felt, and so will the temptations. But there is a new dimension, a new direction, and a new power in life to face the circumstances in which you live.
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Psalm 61:1-4
**It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and discouraged — as long as you turn to God for help. Cry to Him! He will be a shelter to Him if we go to Him.
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