Being a mom is hard work. I didn’t realize this at first. But when our first child was two weeks old and needed to go to the emergency room, it hit me hard: this job might be more than I bargained for. There is just so much to worry about. So much that can go wrong. So much to scare me and keep me awake at night. Worst of all, so much I can’t control. It’s the ultimate parenthood paradox: You are in charge, but never in control.
This weekend, the LORD has graciously given me several Mother’s Day gifts, in addition to the seven blessings I call my children. He has reminded me how I can calm the fears and anxieties that come with the job title “Mom.”
The Psalm 104 Gift: God is bigger than any problem I have.
Yesterday, I sat on the dock at the lake. With my knees pulled up against my chest and the wind lifting my hair, I couldn’t but feel very small. Insignificant. In awe of God’s power, found everywhere in His beautiful creation. I turned to my daughter and said, “I need to come here more often. God is reminding me that He is so much bigger than any problem I have.” Psalm 104 describes the power of God. He covers Himself with “light as with a garment…stretches out the heavens like a curtain…lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters…makes the clouds His chariot…walks on the wings of the wind…” and “laid the foundations of the world.” Surely this God can take care of me, and my children, too.
The Psalm 46:10 Gift: God doesn’t need my help.
Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. God doesn’t need or ask for my help. And no amount of worry, fretting or stressing will solve my problems. God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Every fiber of my being struggles to “be still” and release control. When I’m most frustrated at home my kids are sure to hear, “If I don’t do it, nothing gets done around here!” That may be true of the dishes and laundry, but the big picture things I worry about? Those are for God, Who is fully capable and in control. I also like Exodus 14:14: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
The Romans 8:38-39 Gift: God holds me, and those I love, close to Him
While at the lake yesterday, I watched my two youngest sons build a sand castle at the water’s edge. As the waves lapped the castle’s foundations, it became clear that it wouldn’t last long. Noah took a flimsy reed and tried to bat the waves away from their castle – clearly a hopeless endeavor. My first thought was, This is exactly how I feel about raising my children in this sinful world. The dangers and harmful influences wash against us daily, and I’m helpless to stop them. They just keep coming and coming. In the end, I will fail. A second later, the LORD adjusted my thinking and reminded me that HE is the powerful wave, and the world is the flimsy sand castle. This is the gift of Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” My salvation, my happy ending in heaven, doesn’t depend on how tightly I hold on to God, but how tightly He holds me. The same is true for my children.
So, those were my Mother’s Day gifts this year, and I am a happy, blessed, and (for the moment) calm mom indeed. No, it isn’t an easy job. Yes, there are days I cry on Nathanael’s shoulder and tell him I can’t handle it anymore. But all I need to remember is that God has given me the necessary strength and wisdom to do this job, as well as encouragement and support, in the pages of Scripture.
May Jesus bless and keep mothers everywhere as we seek to raise our children in His grace and for His glory!