Saturday, March 22, 2014

When the Storm Threatens your Sanity

Bike Helmets
Organic Food
GMO Free Groceries
Grass Fed Beef
Free Range Chicken
Natural Medicine
Car Seats
Knee Pads
Hand Sanitizer
Antibacterial Everything

We go to great lengths to protect our children.  We read labels and research the heck out of just about anything that can go in, on, or around our kids.  We love them and naturally want them to have the very best chance at growing up and living a long, healthy, productive life.

There is nothing wrong with any of the things I listed above.  Each one of them is part of my parenting reportoire.  But one thing I have noticed as I talk to friends and peruse social media is a general lack of balance.  In our effort to weed out the unhealthy and attempt an injury free childhood we often become hyper-focused on preventing illness and pain and lose focus on the One who loves our babies more than we do.  After all, didn't He create them?  Didn't He go to great lengths to make them ours?  

Didn't He die for them?

We make an idol out of food, safety, health, name it.  If it can be carved into an idol, we will find a way to do it.

So I just want to give us all a little reminder:  If we spend more time researching ways to keep our kids safe and healthy than in the Word of God, we have it backwards.  If our first response to fear regarding our children is not falling on our knees in prayer, but Googling "what to do when your child..." then we may be guilty of trying to assume the position of God in the lives of our kids.  

I know I have been.  It is a common battle.

Look at the criticism of King Asa in the Old Testament:
2 Chron. 16:12 says, "In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians."

Now my dear hubby is in the medical field, so I most definitely believe in the healing power of medicine!  I am NOT saying to stop seeing doctors when you are sick!  But doctors are not God.  They are limited in their healing powers by the very fact of their humanity.  If we truly believe in the power of prayer, if we truly believe God hears us, then why is so hard to use prayer as our first resort?

Why do we ever say the phrase, "All I can do is pray" after we have exhausted all earthly options?

Prayer is everything in the life of a thriving Christ-follower.  Prayer is unleashing the power of God into our lives and the live of those we love the most.  I believe the polar opposite of worry is prayer.  Prayer forces us to let go of the worry, to hand it over to our Father and let Him carry it.  It pries open our stubborn fingers and exposes the very heart of our fears for our families.

The world is going crazy.  Our kids are growing up in an incredible storm of immorality and pressure to walk away from the Faith of their Fathers.  Without the power of the Holy Spirit they will never be able to stand. Just thinking about what my kids face that didn't even exist when I was a child can send my mama-heart into a tailspin.  

But God is the One who will calm the storm if only we will trust.  He promises that we are engraved in the palm of His hands, that He will never leave us or forsake us...or our kids.  He promises that all things work for GOOD to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.  He tells us that He had determined their days before even one of them came to be.

He promises that in the end, no matter how epic the struggle and how rocky the journey, Heaven will be worth it all.

Do I believe that?  Really?  Do I trust when my son falls off the monkey bars and gets a concussion that it is ok for him to continue playing on the monkey bars because he is a BOY?  Do I trust when I live in a city with a known problem of sex trafficking that I can let my kids play outside and ride their bikes because they are KIDS and God says He has not given us a spirit of fear?  I cannot keep my children in a padded room.  I am already homeschooling which protects them from many, many situations that could be harmful to them.  But I can only protect them from so much before I stunt their growth and prevent the maturity that God wants to foster in their lives.  I must exercise wisdom and teach my kids how to make good choices and protect themselves from predators, but I also have to let them face struggles and, sometimes, danger in order to become capable, confident adults.  I have to let them be kids and stop idolizing the ideal put forth on Facebook and other forms of media that promotes the notion of children needing to be protected from every possible form of adversity or injury.


The truth is, no matter what kind of car seat you use, your child could still be injured in an accident.  No matter how many GMO's you cut out of their diet, you child could still develop cancer.  No matter how many pads your child wears when riding their bike, they could still break their leg and spend 6 weeks in a cast.

We live in a fallen world.  Redemption is is closer every day...but it is not here yet.

Not just yet.

We must let God be God.  Let Him be their cushion when they fall.  Let Him be their healer when they are ill. Let Him be their protector when danger looms.  He has proven Himself faithful over and over again. Nothing is beyond His reach.  Nothing is beyond His power.  

I need this reminder.  No matter how hard and dark the future may seem, (and I know too many of my precious sisters who do face a difficult future with your families due to illness, special needs, etc) there is a LIGHT at the end.  He promises us that Redemption is coming and one day soon all of this struggle and storm will end.  One day soon we will have absolutely nothing to worry about.

I, for one, can hardly wait.

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