“Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:5-6 (ESV)
A friend recently reached out to me to see how I was doing because she noticed I’d been, as she likes to say, “quiet lately.”
She knows that when I go quiet, whether that’s not answering her calls or not quickly responding to texts, it means I’m having a hard time. I typically retreat and process my pain with God before sharing it with others.
This is a very close friend of mine, so she knows the unique strengths and struggles of each of my five boys. So when she reached out via text to check on me, I confessed that I’d been quiet for several days because motherhood had been especially hard lately, and I explained why my heart was hurting for one son in particular. But before I hit “send” on my text, I concluded, “But Jesus.”
Those two words — “But Jesus” — are the ones that give me comfort in every painful circumstance I can’t control in my sons’ lives. Those words give me peace in every unwise decision my boys make that I cannot undo, and in every insecurity in them that I cannot heal.
Jesus knows the gifts He stored in my sons and the plans He has for them. Jesus knows their fears, worries and insecurities. Jesus knows the mistakes they hide and the shame that festers as a result. Jesus knows what tomorrow holds, and He isn’t surprised by their sin … or their sanctification. Jesus knows the potholes they’ll fall into, and He knows the stories they’ll tell about His grace that pulled them out. Jesus won’t forsake them. In fact, nobody is fighting harder for my boys than Him!
Isn’t that the greatest encouragement? Oh, sister, as I write this devotion for us, I am preaching a whole sermon to myself.
I don’t know what you’re walking through with your kids. It might feel hopeless. It might feel overwhelming. It might feel discouraging, and your heart might be breaking. I understand all of that. Every morning, after I drop my precious 5-year-old off at preschool, I crank up the worship music in my car and pray for the four older boys who are all dealing with very real things that will either draw them into deeper dependence on Jesus or tempt them to take advantage of His grace.
This practice of placing my boys back in the hands of their heavenly Father each morning helps free me from the burden of being their all in all. We are invited to bring all of our worries, fears, burdens and pressures to our all-knowing and all-loving Father, who loves to help.
When the weight of what our kids are walking through feels too heavy and hard, let us do as the psalmist did:
“Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:5-6)
Like the psalmist, when we call on the Lord, He will answer and set us free. He is on our side as we lead the children He’s entrusted to us. So, sister, call out to Him.
Our prayers for our children (and with our children) are unimaginably significant. Through prayer, we get to partner with God in the work He is doing in the lives of our kids.
Of course, this is not discounting the fact that there are very real things we must do and very difficult problems we must solve. We have been given the Spirit of Christ to gird us and guide us as we go! Nowhere in Scripture do we read “Pray only.” Right? But we are continually reminded that this is the best place to start and the best place to return if we long to parent in the freedom of Christ and the confidence of God’s grace.
Heavenly Father, help us parent with open hands and pray with trusting hearts — remembering You are sovereign over it all, You are good to us and our children, and there is abundant grace and mighty power for those who call on Your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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1 Peter 5:10-11, “It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” (MSG)
What fears or heavy burdens about your children are you carrying today? Lay each one of those fears and worries specifically before the Lord today, and ask Him to empower you to parent in the assurance of His grace.
We would love to hear from you! In the comments, share your thoughts about today’s devotion.
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