When trial and tragedy come in to our lives, we can be devastated, overwhelmed, raw, sorrowful and scared. As a mother, though, it is even harder when I witness the consequences ripple in to the lives of my children. I cry out, "OK, Lord, I will try to accept this from your hand. But what about my children? What am I to do for them? This is not fair!"
I have wrestled with this over the years in different circumstances, trying to come to terms with how do I persevere and heal the pain that I feel, and help my children to do so, as well.
Recently, I bemoaned the fact that my children are walking through the consequences of the reality of my current situation and how concerned I am for them. My heart ached with worry and fears for their futures. How would this affect them? Would they be alright? The arrows of the "what ifs" and "if onlys" attacked my heart, pricking it and making it bleed great sorrow.
But, as usual, I needed to take a big step back and a deep breath, and seek God for His comfort and answers for my children. (This is a topic, by the way, that I occasionally visit with the Lord about. I have not mastered it, yet.)
Isaiah 40:11 says, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."
I began to realize that I needed to remember the truth. God is in control of all things, even the lives of my children. When God is tending His flock, He gathers the lambs in his arms. He knows that they may not be able to keep up. They are more tender and needing of more care. He is the one who gives that, and He carries them close to His heart. Not only that, but He knows that I have young ones, and He gently leads me as I try and nurture and care for them during this journey that we are all on.
I began to remember that God is writing my children's story, too. He works together all things at one time, even this, in their lives (Romans 8:28). Jeremiah 29:11 stands true for them as well as it does for me. He has a plan and a purpose for their lives, not to harm them, but to give them a hope and a future. What He has for them today in the midst of difficulty is part of His plan for who they will become and what He has ordained for them. He knows their individual make up, their needs, their strengths and their weaknesses. After all, He created them and He loves them very much.
My job is to trust God, even with, perhaps especially with, my children. As I walk through trials with them, they are opportunities for me to teach them how to trust God. I can teach them to turn to Him in prayer and to look for Him in the events of every day life. I can reassure them that He is present and that He is in control. I can help them to see that even though we may not understand what is happening that God knows and He will help us and direct us (Proverbs 3:5-6). God does have a special plan for them in all of what is happening. I can live out before them (not perfectly) the example that God's grace is sufficient for this day.
These days are full of opportunities for me to help turn the hearts of my children to God and help them to grow in their faith. Life is difficult. As they grow up, they will experience other trials. But, today, I can help equip them to trust God.
Dear reader, perhaps you struggle, too, with fears for your children as they walk through difficult times. May you see them, today, being held in the arms of a loving God, who will care for them and give them just what they need, not just for today, but for a lifetime as He writes the story of their lives. And, may you feel His gentle touch upon your back as He leads you in the ways in which you can comfort and encourage your children in the Lord. He really is always present caring for His flock.