Doing the Hardest Thing

I once thought giving birth was the hardest thing I would ever do.  The months of discomfort, night after night of no sleep, the agony of waiting.  Then, the contractions, intense and unlike anything describable.  The pushing, the sweat and tears.

But then they are born, delivered from the womb, and sent out by God to be led by us.  This, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  Daily being faced with my own weaknesses.  Seeing my short-comings reflected back in my children’s lives.  Working through their failings and reliving my own.

The desire to give up, to throw in the towel, is intense.  The fact that I simply cannot is overwhelming, intimidating, and an incredible challenge.  My vision for our family and what I see within these four walls are painfully different from each other.

The past two weeks have been hectic.  My mind has been preoccupied with many things – birthday festivities, Thanksgiving foods, a neighborhood open house – none of these things are my children.  They have become a burden of sorts, and I have no doubt they can sense that.  And so their behavior reflects what their hearts feel and the clash continues between us.

I am reminded this morning that it is when I like them least that I must love on them most.  When I am distracted and burdened by the daily responsibilities, that is when I most need to put the house work aside and sit with them and read and reflect and most of all, slow.  Slow myself.  Slow them.  Slow this rushing time.

So, today we will do that.  The cleaning must still be done and so must some school work.  But surely there is a way to do that without losing them in the process?

This hardest thing, this raising of God’s children, can only be done on my knees, even on my face.  I do not know what to do, I cannot see the next step, but my God knows it and I must trust Him to lead me in it.  We face a mighty enemy that fights for their souls, and if he can’t have those, he will fight for their story, to make their story about him or about them, and not about the One who was born to die for them.  I stand today, overwhelmed and weary, and face the battle that lies ahead, knowing that I will remain on these front lines for years.  I stand, but I fall to my knees and cry out like Jehoshaphat as he faced the mighty army, , “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

My eyes are on you, O Lord, show me the way to lead them to you.