“Lord, let me make a difference for You that is
utterly disproportionate to who I am.”
Ah…the high calling of parenthood. Can God really expect parents to make disciples of their children, faithfully teaching them about encountering HIM?
Doesn’t it often seem hard enough to get our kids through the infant years with our sanity intact, as sleep deprivation brings a slow and painful death to every functioning brain cell?
Not to mention surviving the “terrible twos” (though the “threes” have been much worse for my own children) as our toddlers insist on consuming things like sand, uncooked macaroni, finger paint, insects, crayons and whatever solid matter they can remove from their diapers…all the while shouting “NO!” at the top of their lungs at our attempts to feed them anything with the slightest nutritional value (oh, wait…maybe that’s just my kids).
And then there are the elementary years, with safety admonitions like: “Look both ways before you cross the street!”; “Don’t eat so fast! You might choke!”; and “Stop running with that sucker in your mouth!”
Dare I mention the teen years, which offer numerous temptations such as cigarettes, alcohol, premarital sex, and illegal drugs? And what about depression, eating disorders, and suicide?
As hard as it is to help our kids make it out of childhood alive, could God really expect us to focus on the parts we can’t even see? Things like their character, their walk with God, their relationships with us, their friendships, their desires, their thoughts, their HEARTS? Sometimes this just feels like TOO MUCH for me.
And you know what? The more I think about it, the more I think that’s the point.
The all-consuming job of parenting is most definitely, absolutely, positively too much for me.
Because parenting isn’t only about helping my children grow up. It’s equally about helping me grow up in HIM.
It’s about me recognizing how inept and how absolutely unqualified and unprepared I am…
it’s about me acknowledging my complete lack of ability to accomplish one iota of anything good on my own…
it’s about me running frantically, desperately, unabashedly — not away from this overwhelmingly huge task and this high calling, but to the One who called me to the task in the first place.
You see, that is the beauty of the Great Commission…the unimaginable beauty of our God who doesn’t just call. He equips. He gives us everything we need so we can do what He calls us to do.
And the best thing of all…the very best thing He could possibly give us…is Himself. His presence with us through it all. The ups and downs, the highs and lows, the joys and heartaches.
The One who says, “Make disciples” just a few breaths later says “I am with you ALWAYS.”
“…with God all things are possible.”
How have you experienced divine encounters in your parenting journey? I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
Written by Jennifer Clarke