If you’ve ever felt like life is hard, like you’re up against something bigger than you — you’re right.
There is a devil, and this is a war, and you’re his target.
This is a reminder I need all the time. Because things get tough, and I immediately start to fix and blame and “wrestle against flesh and blood.”
A few months ago, the Lord dropped three little words into my heart:
Frustration, Fear, and Faith.
This enemy of mine, he’s got me in his sites, and he knows my weak spots:
I work really hard, and then I get frustrated. Probably I don’t have to elaborate on why I would get frustrated, wondering why this isn’t working. That’s during the day.
Then I go to bed, and lay in the dark, thinking about my children that I love so much and all I want for them, and another shadow creeps into my soul: fear. What if something happens to them? What if they don’t get it? How can I watch them every second of their lives just to be sure they’re okay? [Resist the urge to get up and check them for the umpteenth time.]
It would be easy to fight these enemies by reading an article on How To Take A Deep Breath, or Count To Ten and Think Happy Thoughts, or They’re Just Kids So Chill Out. Finish the day with triple-checking every lock on every door and installing night-lights everywhere throughout the house. Ta-da.
Except that doesn’t really work, does it?
Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, and there is only one victory that overcomes the world and the Prince of it:
Faith in Jesus.
Faith changes everything. Faith most certainly changes the power of frustration and fear.
Frustration lurks, but when I am working by faith, when I am sowing by faith, I can speak to those feelings. I can speak with authority. I can know that God is at work in my children’s lives. That a tantrum at the grocery store and a bedroom that looks like a nuclear bomb went off and not listening in church isn’t the end. Nope. Sheree Phillips states so well how faith renders ineffective the frustrations we encounter:
Mostly, however, it [parenting] requires faith. Faith when we become discouraged at their lack of progress. Faith during seasons when they slip back into old habits. Faith when we realize we have started to allow arguing and bickering and anger back into our homes and we have to regroup. Faith when well-meaning friends say our standards are unrealistically hight. Faith when we’re tired and think it was easier when we didn’t have to do so much disciplining and encouraging and reminding.
As for fear? The shadows of fear and its paralyzing whispers are abolished by the declaration of God’s love and grace and power — and knowing that He is pursuing my kids. Every worst case scenario can go ahead and stop tormenting me, because nothing can separate us from the love of God through Christ our Lord. The gnawing doubts about them not “getting it” are shut down when I acknowledge that I can’t save them, but as I exalt and lift up Jesus in our home, He will draw their little hearts! Just like He did mine!
I’m sowing in faith. I’m loving in faith. I’m praying in faith. And the hope on which my faith is built? Rock solid.
The second stanza of an old hymn, hidden in my heart:
How sweet to hold
A newborn baby
And feel the pride
And joy he gives
But greater still
The calm assurance
This child can face
Just because He lives
Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives
This was awesome to read Danica. Something I really needed to read, because with our little 3 month old, my fears of the worst happening to my infant are back just like they were with Logan. So I sleep with the light on. Thank you for reminding me that my children and their health and well being are ultimately in God’s hands.~Lisianna