I am the type of person who likes to be in control. At least to some degree. I like to know how things are going to turn out. I absolutely love formulas. If I do this and this, then this is going to happen. I have often joked how I wish I had a manual for each of my children, a how-to, step by step book to help me figure out how to raise them.
Instead, I am realizing that there are so many areas that are out of my control. And as I try to control it, my worry and stress start to increase. Right now it is my children who are my source of worry. As a mom I invest so much time making sure they are taken care of, they have a good relationship with the Lord, and are children of charater and good morals. Yet, there are so many things working against these goals for my children. As I identify these, my worry and stress start to rise. Then as I look around, it appears to me that so many others have it all figured out, yet many of the things they are doing are not an option for me right now.
So what happens next. I start to fall into despair and defeat. I start to believe lies. The lies that my children cannot possibly make it through all this with a strong faith.
This week in the word, God has been teaching me to:
1. Stay steadfast in my pursuit of Him, seeking to delight in Him.
2. Teach my children His ways so that it may go well with them. This teaching them both obedience and grace through Jesus Christ.
3. And finally, but often the most difficult is learning to trust him in everything, especially the areas that are out of my control.
I was reading 1 Corinthians 2 and wrote this in my journal:
"It is not with the fanciest devotions or parenting techniques that bring my children to you. There is no exact formula other than simply knowing you, following your commands, letting your Spirits power work and be a demonstration to my kids. Lord reveal your wisdom to my husband and I for raising our children and help us to love them the way you love us".
You see, we have a how-to manual - His Word The Bible and we have the Holy Spirit to help us and teach us. What does the Bible command us?
1. Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6
2. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:5-8
When those things that we have no control over start to overwhelm us, we need to ask this. Are we loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength? Are we asking him for wisdom and guidance? Are we following His how-to manual? We can be assured that he gives wisdom generously, but we must believe and not doubt (James 1). Are we studying and obeying what His word says with the help of the Holy Spirit? Are we praying that the Spirit would be working in the lives of those around us? And are we trusting Him to work all things together for the good (Romans 8:28).
And how do we trust when we can't see the end? Proverbs 3:6 tells us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Many times remembering how God has been faithful to us helps me to trust Him.
When the Isrealities crossed over the Jordon River, God instructed them to take with them stones from the river as a rememberance of what God has done for them. Looking back at God's faithfulness can help us trust Him as we look forward to an unknown future.
In what ways are you struggling to Let God work and to trust Him? Are you following His how-to manual and asking Him to help you and teach you?
Thank you Lord, that you do work all things together for good for those who love you. Thank you for being so faithful in the little and big things of our lives. Grant us wisdom and diligence in the tasks you have set before us and help us to trust you completely in everything.