For You are my rock and my fortress. Therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me. Psalm 31:3 NKJV
I’m going to be totally honest here.
There are some days when I just don’t want to be a mom. Have you ever felt that way? The kids are running like stampeding buffalo through the house, yelling at the top of their lungs, doors are repeatedly slamming, WWF-like matches breaking out in the middle of the living room. Then there’s the issue of selective hearing followed by outright disobedience. Not to mention dawdling when you’re in a rush to go or during tooth brushing time. Sound familiar?
And all you want is refuge from the madness.
It’s so hard to keep calm and gently inform your child of the consequences of his or her actions. And it seems the more you try, the harder it is and the more it drains your energy and resolve. I know there are parents out there who would tell me to hang in there and that changing your child’s behavior takes time. I get that and I completely agree.
But let’s be honest. There are just some days it’s just not in you to tow the line. You’re not feeling well, you haven’t been getting enough sleep, the boss is really coming down on you, your finances are tightening, and then the car won’t start. It’s a lot for a grown-up to handle some days. It’s on these days that we can get relief knowing that God has our back.
It seems many times that we forget that God is a dad too. We talk about the Father and the Son, but do we really put the two together in the context of being a family? God the Father knows from experience what you’re going through and He’s ready to be your rock and refuge.
Psalm 71:3 reminds us to call out to God on hard days. King David wrote, “Be my strong refuge to which I may resort continually. You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.” We need to remember how strong God is and how loving He is to those who follow Him.
1 Corinthians 12:8-9 also says,
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Now, in no way am I implying that your children are your infirmities. Absolutely not! But let’s face it, they can get under our skin sometimes, can’t they? And when they do, God promises that He will be your strength, your place of refuge, and that His grace will help you endure.
I love the part of this verse that tells us His grace is sufficient for us. Because “is sufficient” is written in the present tense, it means that there is a constant availability of divine grace. It is without end. And when you receive it, God shines and His power is revealed. It is there that you find refuge.
There’s a book entitled “Grace For the Moment” by the brilliant author Max Lucado. It’s such a great title because that’s what we all need most if not all of the time. God’s grace right in your moment…in hurting…in joy…in loving…in defeat…in triumph…in excitement…in sadness…in being overwhelmed. All in your moment and just at the right time.
Kids will be kids, no doubt. And that’s a good thing. It’s all a part of them growing and learning. But when they’re testing those boundaries and driving us crazy, we need to remember that God gives us sufficient, unending grace. He promises to be our strength, our rock, our fortress, our safe place to find rest, renewal, and refuge.
We need to continue to try to stay calm and level-headed in our parenting, but when we can’t we have to remember that God is with us. He sees our struggles and triumphs. He sees it all. And He promises to always take care of us so that we can be successful, loving parents as we train up our children.
Take a long walk, take a few deep breaths, meditate, do what you need to do to regain composure in front of your kids. Let God fill you with His peace and rest, and give you the strength to stand on the Rock.
Then remember that tomorrow is a new day. Before you know it these will have gone by and you’ll one day find yourself standing in an empty living room staring at the front door and thinking, “Remember when….?”