I've been thinking a lot lately about time, more specifically, about our days on this earth. I don't know if worry is the right word, but there's certainly an angst or anxiousness that hovers over these thoughts. And I've begun to realize that it's robbing me of joy and peace. My oldest son is officially in driver's ed now- no, that was not an intentional segue into a post about angst and fear, ha!- and he's been chauffeuring me around and keeping track of all his hours on a driving log hanging on the fridge. I don't know how I feel about all this. It's pushing me in a direction I don't yet feel ready to go. It makes me realize that sometimes I just want my babies back. I want things the way they were before, when everyone was younger and I didn't have to worry so much about aging parents or making huge decisions that impact my children because it felt like the years just stretched out endlessly ahead of us. There would always be time for this or for that because, well, we had lots of time back then. And now, suddenly, we don't.
I was talking with some friends at church yesterday about an area in which I feel like a complete and utter failure: family devotions and Bible reading/praying together. It's what my heart desires most and yet I keep failing. (I know there is no condemnation in Christ but I feel like a failure.) I have had so much time and I have wasted it! And now that my boys are older, it makes me feel like it's too late. Like that ship has sailed, my chance is gone.
Is that really true? Is that how Jesus wants me to look at it? No, I don't think so. God's Word is FILLED with promises of renewal and transformation and peace and grace and hope. He can - and does - use our shortcomings for His good when we allow Him to. How awesome that the Creator of the world and all that is in it is a God of love! That HE is the one to restore and heal and soften hearts! I love the Lord and want to live out my life in a way that honors Him, but I can't save people- only He can do that. This is so hard for me to grasp because I feel like if I could get a grip on nightly devotions and we could have prayer time three times a day, if only I would do this and do that, then all would be well with my children. Really what I'm thinking is: if I do all the right things, then I can save them.
Talk about pressure, right? But that's not true! I am called to train up my children, to love them and to teach them Truth, but ultimately, I have to relinquish the thinking that I am responsible for their own walks. And that is so hard. I don't want my mistakes and shortcomings to injure my children's views of our perfect God, to be a stumbling block for them. Argh. I'm sorry to be so confusing and all over the place, but it's all so jumbled in my mind as I wrestle with these thoughts.
I know I have an internal struggle going on because I do feel called to equip my children in more ways that I have at this point, and that isn't a bad thing. My time has not run out. Each new day is a new opportunity to live out our faith, to explore grace, to meditate on Scripture. I don't need to allow fear and doubt to cripple me here, but rather, this unsettled-ness can spur me to action. First and foremost, I can pray about how God wants to use me to teach my children. I can pray about resources and influential relationships and every single detail about how to reach them and KNOW that He hears me and that nothing is trivial in His eyes.
I don't think I'm alone here, but I wonder how many of you struggle with the same thing. We can be praying for one another!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
This verse is such a great reminder to me-
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world.