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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stressed and Anxious

August 31, 2013

Have you ever stood in the ocean with the waves crashing in on you every other second? By the time you caught your breath from the last wave you had to prepare for the next. It eventually leaves you so tired you feel that you must either succumb to the waves or leave the beach entirely. Either way you must give up. That is, if you haven’t been knocked down and dragged out in the undertow.

That’s a little like we feel right now.

So much has been happening to our family this summer that we have started to sit up and take notice. The waves of difficulties have been non-ending. Just as we think we’re getting back on our feet, here comes another wave! You tell yourself it is just for a season. But you find the words ringing hollow after a while and you wonder if it sounds like a lie to everyone else too.

What do the difficulties of life have to do with discipling?

A lot actually.

How our children see us handling the hardships of life testifies a lot about our relationship with God. Is there worry? Fear? Stress? Anger? You betcha there is. But there is also faith, trust and assurance. And God has brought us to a place where we have stopped focusing on what is going on here and started focusing on what God has for us at the end of this time.

Our children here us talk about the problems that have been coming our way. They’ve heard us talking about how we’re going to fix them. And now they hear us talking about what God is trying to teach us through all of it.

They see us counting our blessings even as the cursings keep coming. But we are not perfect people and at times we can also be caught complaining too. And as we struggle to deal with everything some things are falling through the cracks.

Schooling has been one of those things. I sat down the other night to get the paperwork for our first week of school printed out and lesson plans completed and realized I am grossly unprepared. I had fooled myself into thinking just because I had been planning (albeit in my head) I was ready.

Panic started to set in. I immediately went into ‘How Am I Going To Fix This’ mode. I stared blankly at my computer screen, wrung my hands a few times, I think I may have even paced a little. Finally, I put my head down and whispered “I give up”.

Then God spoke. He had probably been speaking all along, but I was too wrapped up in my own thoughts to hear Him. “Take a look at your plans again”, he was saying. “So what if you don’t have language arts scheduled. So what if you don’t have science and history planned out. So what if you don’t have the math curriculum you wanted. Look at what you DO have.”

And what I had was a 32 week plan for studying the Word of God. Scripture verses for the family to memorize. A calendar full of Jewish Holy Days and festivals to learn about and celebrate. What I had was a plan for teaching my children life skills (a loose one but still a plan). And what could be more important.

Once again I am reminded that if we take care of the God thing, He’ll take care of the rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28