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Posts Tagged ‘concern’

Scary tree in moonlight

I’ve grown tired and my throbbing head rests wearily on shoulders knotted by the week’s concerns.  Night begins to fill the sky with its inky fingerprint and I notice there aren’t any stars.  Even the smallest shaft of light has been snuffed out by the encroaching darkness.  My heart drums a muffled song of sorrow.  Where are the lights that once sparkled brilliantly?  How has the promise of the day faded so quickly?  Will night’s oppression be forced to stop its silent, creeping, Joy-Thievery?

I turn to the Word as a sanctuary from the fear that always comes in the dark.  Except now?  Instead of trembling because of the monster beneath my bed, I tremble at the reality of the spiritual battle being waged for those I love.  Words of encouragement speak to me as if they were breathed into my ear.  Cast your burdens upon the Lord.  

But, these concerns are heavier than any I’ve ever carried.  My body aches to be rid of them…my soul cries out for relief…and I pray.  Yet, I clutch the worries tightly to myself like an animal whose burden has been pressed close by the cinching of a strap to which it is bound.

Cast your burdens…cast your burdens…cast your burdens.  The words echo in my head as I reach awkwardly toward the invisible worries.  I pull one out–crushed beneath the layers–and lift it toward heaven.  Then, I throw it to the Only One able to take the weight of the darkness.  It belongs to Him.

I still don’t see the stars, but I know they exist.  And one day, the Light will blot the Darkness from the sky.  The promise for every day will be fulfilled and there will be no more Joy-Thievery–only Joy-Giving.  And the invisible Worry?  The one that rested on God’s shoulders?  Worry will be made new and transformed for His glory.  Amen.

 

Scripture for Reflection (selected verses from Psalm 55 MSG)

1-3 Open your ears, God, to my prayer;
don’t pretend you don’t hear me knocking.
Come close and whisper your answer.
I really need you.

4-8 My insides are turned inside out;
specters of death have me down.
I shake with fear,
I shudder from head to foot.
“Who will give me wings,” I ask—
“wings like a dove?”
Get me out of here on dove wings;
I want some peace and quiet.
I want a walk in the country,
I want a cabin in the woods.
I’m desperate for a change
from rage and stormy weather.

22-23 Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—
he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.
He’ll never let good people
topple into ruin.

 

 

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There’s always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. Graham Greene

From the beginning, my ideas about parenting were flawed. I thought of it almost like a mathematical formula. If Dave and I just plugged in the right amount of love, guidance, and opportunity then our kids would follow Christ unswervingly, rebuff mainstream culture, and discover their passion in life. Rebellion? Struggles with identity? Not a chance–after all, a(b)=ab.

Of course, you already know how wrong my assumptions were. Even when Dave and I do everything we can to keep our children from hardship or lead them toward a faith in Christ, they  need to make their own choices, decisions–even mistakes. Just like we did (and do).

But, I believe those choices and mistakes will result in something more beautiful and powerful than I could have imagined. The one who is struggling to understand how (and if) his faith intersects with life? He’ll embrace Christ and discover his purpose–the reason he was created–when God draws Him close; not because his mother made the decision for him. And the boy who wants to do everything perfectly? He’ll encounter freedom in amazing ways. Freedom from unattainable standards. Freedom from concern. Freedom in Christ–because of Christ.

This doesn’t let me off the hook in any way. Being a parent means I continue to invest my love, time, and limited abilities in the lives of my children every day. But, I need to take a deep breath and remember that if there were a simple parenting formula then I wouldn’t need to rely on God in this messy, wonderful, overwhelming business of raising children.

Instead, I’m on my knees, in prayer, and dependant on the One who loves my children even more than I do.

3 Reminders for Stressed Parents

God knows our children intimately

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I’d even lived one day. (Psalm 139-15:16)

When we don’t know what to do for our children, rely on the promises of Scripture

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Trust God’s decision to put these children in your care.  He will work through our parenting–despite our imperfection.

God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.

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