Don't look for a devotional book written by me any time soon. This was HARD!
I have fretted, stressed, and had an anxiety attack along with a temper tantrum over this devotional. Don’t worry, my boys are used to it. Sad, but true. I have written, erased, searched the Internet until I found the end of the line, considered giving up and telling Jenny she needed to find someone else. I have read, looked up verses, considered plagiarism, and banging my head against the wall.Then my daughter called me today…She is a long story, my little drama girl…She said, “Just be real, Mom.”Just be real…Okay, here goes.The reality is, I am not a stellar mom. Far from it. I have made countless mistakes in my mothering and I know I will make more in the years ahead. When it comes to raising my children I have placed far more trust in the means instead of trusting in God.For example:…When they were toddlers and pre-schoolers, I trusted in the “right” (what was considered the right way at that time, at least) form of discipline.…When they became school age, I chose to live where the best public schools were located and then later chose homeschooling as the means to have intelligent, well-rounded, godly children.…When my lost and confused daughter got married, I trusted in the institution of marriage to straighten her out.John Piper wrote:There is no doubt God wants us to use means to get His work done. But just as clearly He wants us not to trust in these means. “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31). Therefore, our confidence should not be in the horse, but in the Lord.I’m very glad for God’s mercies which are new every morning and I take comfort in that truth as I start each new day with my children.In my internet search, I kept going back to the blog, Girl Talk. It’s a blog written by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters, Nicole, Kristin and Janelle. There is such rich wisdom and encouragement to be found there. Because one of the means I was trusting in to “fix” my daughter fell through, I have needed some encouragement desperately. The following blog post is what I needed to hear and I hope it’s an encouragement to all of you, too.Time to Come“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7These verses describe the stuff of sowing. We must talk to our children every day, instruct them throughout the day, teach them in every circumstance, train them on every occasion, tell them God’s words over and over again.Sowing can be hard work. Sometimes exhausting work. We moms can wonder: Is anything getting through? Will this child ever get it? We may feel our words are falling on deaf ears; that our efforts are in vain. Oh, but let’s keep reading in Deuteronomy chapter six. Look at the hope and encouragement we find in verse 20:“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’Though it is not a promise, there is much encouragement we can draw from this verse; because there is a time coming when it won’t simply be us doing all the talking, teaching, and instructing. One day our children will act in response to our instruction. They will come with questions of their own. They will inquire about the meaning of God’s words. They will desire to understand God’s ways for themselves.Now that “time to come” is different for every child. It’s sooner for some, later for others. Scripture does not give us an exact timetable for the duration of sowing. But Scripture does tell us: "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:9,10).I know I have been weary. I imagine we have all been weary one time or another. Let us encourage one another to keep pressing on to teach our children about our good God, who came to us in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die on the cross for our sins and who rose again as a sign that His sacrifice was accepted. The Gospel is our only hope and the only hope for our children.