“The fear of the Lord leads to life and he who has it will abide in satisfaction.” – Proverbs 19:23
It was that “something else” in others that first drew me to a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Although in church all my life, I had been a slave to up and down emotions; falling apart over trivial things, while I watched others stand strong through tragedies. In the midst of really hard stuff, they had peace that made no sense to me. I wanted that. I finally found lasting peace when Jesus became more than a story to me – when I asked Him to be Lord of my life, and when I stepped out in faith to obey Him, even when my emotions said do something else. In fact, I learned to walk in real relationship with Jesus in the midst of intense trial and tragedy in my life. It was through those hard days that God taught me to trust Him for all of my days and where He became my everything – more than enough for whatever life may bring.
Some trials come not because of sin but so Biblical truth can get in us, become forever part of us, and strengthen us for the rest of our lives.
I want this same satisfaction for my kids, yet as much as I want to do so I know I cannot simply tell them about it. Faith is a personal thing to possess. It lives deep inside of us and is part of us. Strong faith can’t be told, it must be lived and grown. I know it must grow in my kids just as it grows in me. Some trials come not because of sin but so Biblical truth can get in us, become forever part of us, and strengthen us for the rest of our lives. And though the flesh in me and my mother’s heart wish it were different, I know the hardest trials cause faith to grow much deeper and stronger than the easy days. I know very few who fell deeply in love with the Savior over their blessings but many, who instead, found Jesus to be their faithful everything during real, gut-wrenching hurt and tragedy. Deep down I know this will be the way for my kids as well. The reality is, if I want my babies, who I love with all my heart, to grow in life-giving, hope-giving real faith, then I know my job is not to rescue my kids from every trial they face. No, my job is to do all I can to point them to the Rock who will be their stand-on-strength and direction all the days of their life, and long after I am gone.
This hard truth has changed my prayers for my kids. I used to pray “momma prayers” – “keep them safe, help them to do well in school, help them to get along with others” and on and on. Yet, my Holy-Spirit-inspired desire for them to love God more than anything, and be blessed by all that brings, has prompted me to ask Him to take them through whatever it takes to know He is enough when all else seems to fail them. That is a hard prayer to pray and especially hard when I see God answering it. Yet, I know if my kids learn at an early age that He is their rock; they will have a steadfast faith that is not easily shaken by life’s ups and downs, sorrows and pain. They will have peace, hope and joy that is not dependent on their circumstances. They will rest in the freedom that comes from living their lives to please God, rather than chasing all the empty things this life has to offer.
Saying all that is one thing. Living it is entirely another. Every fiber of my momma heart wants to rescue my kids from pain. Sometimes I am to do just that, yet other times my job is to stand back and pray and the only way I ever know the difference is by staying at the feet of my Savior who loves my children much more than I ever could. I trust Him so much more than I trust me, not only for my life, but for theirs.
Prayer: Oh Jesus, You are the Rock. Your Word is true. Your presence is peace. I want more than anything for my kids to love You above all else. I pray they will give You glory all the days of their lives. I know You can sustain them when all else seems to fail them. I know You alone can give them real hope, real joy and real peace. May I stay so connected to You that I know moment by moment how to best point them to truth. And give me the courage to ask You to take my children through whatever it takes to love you first…because You love them most. Your plans for them are exceedingly and abundantly more than (even their momma) could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Please be their abiding satisfaction. Thank you Lord. Amen.
Jesus, give me the courage to ask You to take my children through whatever it takes to love you first…because You love them most.