Recently both of my boys called me sounding like their dog had just died. I love that we have the kind of relationship that I’m the one they call when life is hard, But it’s also H.A.R.D. on a momma. We want so much for our children. It’s hard to wrap your mind around how much you love these beings and it never changes.
I can be their cheerleader, although that’s the last thing I ever would have thought myself good at. I occasionally have some words of wisdom, I’ve always told them, “No matter how stupid you may think I am, I have learned a thing or two having existed this long on the planet.” But I can’t be their savior. I make a terrible Jesus. NO ONE should EVER follow me! I can’t make them make wise choices. Nor can a measure my worth on their success or failure, for they will both succeed and fail and both are crucial to their development.
But its hard to watch. I remember begrudgingly studying the Israelites after they are rescued by Moses from captivity. It’s so frustrating how they whine and complain, how they forget about God’s provision five seconds after it’s gone, how they witness first hand the glory of God, then turn around and grumble about how hard the have it. They even long to go back to captivity because at least the food was good there! They are so frustrating! They are so me! I do the very same thing! I have seen first hand God’s provision in my life over and over again. I know that he works all things together for good. I know that it’s in our trials we experience our greatest growth. But still in the moment of crisis, I panic, I question, I doubt and self pity sets in. OH MY GOSH! I AM JUST LIKE THOSE STINKING ISRAELITES.
But the hope lies in the fact that while I struggle and while I am too dense to remember the rainbow follows the storm, God is unchanged. He doesn’t get tired of my short term memory. He doesn’t get tired of my inability to learn from the past. He doesn’t give up on me and that gives me the strength to get through the days when the crisis roll in like ocean waves. In the midst of hard times it seems like its forever. I remember raising babies and thinking they will never sleep through the night, never be potty trained, never not have to suffer through spelling tests, the hard things always seemed like forever. Until they weren’t. Until REALLY hard things came next.
Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord God of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons. For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. When I wept and humbled[b] my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me. Psalm 69:1-12
The thing about it is… God is Good – all the time. Sometimes my vision is clouded and life is stinking hard, but God is Good. And while it may seem cliché even on the days the tone of voice on the phone is wretched with crisis and heart ache, God is Good. I must focus more on Psalm 69:13-15 :
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me.