Wednesday, June 04, 2014

On Trial

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds." (James 1:2)

I came across this verse twice this morning. TWICE. Once in my own devotional time and then again in the girls' devotional. When God puts something in front of your eyes not once but twice -- all before 8:30am -- it's pretty safe to assume that He is trying to tell you something.

Right now, I am struggling with raising one of my children. Like really struggling. I am pulling patience from places that are not of this world because I am fairly certain THERE IS NOT ENOUGH PATIENCE IN THIS WORLD.

And regardless of what Pinterest and Facebook try to tell me, I am somewhat confident that I am not the only one in the midst of this trial. Can we all just admit that we aren't sitting around crafting and making homemade play-doh all the live long day? I'm pretty sure most of our days and nights include getting snacks, breaking up fights, tempering sassy attitudes, getting more snacks, finding new and creative ways to say, "CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!," and, yes, more snacks.

Listen, we all love our kids. We do. But I think the majority of us will agree that a large portion of our parenting experience is a TRIAL... especially if (a-hem) one of your children has a strong will to do everything the exact opposite way than you would prefer. (And, trust me, I realize that I (we) have a long way to go.)

But then there's that verse...

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds."

... and I reminded that there has to be joy wrapped up in this trial. Yes, our children in and of themselves are a joy, but what about that scary, hard part of raising them? The part that feels like constant fighting, constant discipline, constant reminding -- none of which seem to be doing any good. Is there joy in that part?

Today, I am choosing to believe that there is. Not only because God said so, but because when I take a step back and consider the bigger picture of this trial, I see that yes, it is a joy. Raising my daughter in His ways is a joy and even more so, a privledge. The fighting, the discipline, the reminders -- they are creating character in that little soul, knowledge in that little mind, and (hopefully) compassion in that little heart. This current trial -- one that is squashing out every ounce of confidence I once had in my own abilities -- is critical. It's the hard part, but it's the part that God entrusted to me -- her mother -- so that together, we could bring up this child in His image.

So often I thank God for the gift of my children, but today I'm thanking Him for the gift of raising my children. It isn't easy -- and right now, it feels downright impossible -- but today He reminded me that it is a blessing. One that I can consider pure joy.


mom said...

I am quite certain that you are mistaken - there is NO way that one of my little angels is causing you so much grief
On a more serious note, the very first thing that came to mind as I was reading this is this verse...1 Peter 6-7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. I love you & I see you are bringing honor & glory to God raising those beautiful girls - you force yourself do the hard things, because you know that most often they are the right things. {{hugs}}

Jamie said...

I so feel you on this one!! Some days the arguments and the "why's" and constant demands for attention wear on me as well. You are so right, though, we are called to find joy in our trials. One verse that gets me through the hard times is...

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Jaimie said...

Thanks for this insight, Lisa. I got off of FB because it was too much noise for me--too hard for me to focus on my journey--too much self-condemnation for me to handle. That's my problem, I know, but for now I am enjoying raising my babies and reading genuine perspective. : )