My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. - Psalm 119:50
Life can throw some overwhelming problems at a parent. Lately, I’ve learned a couple of truths that bring strong confidence.
Our church’s recent Living Hope sermon series focused on 1 Peter. The pastors pointed us to the living hope we have in Jesus. 1 Peter 1:13 instructs, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action… set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Rather than shrinking fearfully into our corner, we can believe that Jesus’ resurrection power will help us overcome, giving wisdom and direction. And in the end, we will receive grace.
Raising children today is fraught with opposition. We hope for something that will bring a sigh of relief, an opportunity to lay down our fears and rest, at peace. Yet hope in things we can’t fully control is vain. I’ve set my hope on all kinds of uncertainties: a happy remarriage; a flourishing career; a comprehensive home school curriculum; and of course the all-important success and well-being of my children. Then, I’ve wondered why I ride an emotional roller-coaster.
The more I ponder the thought of Jesus bringing us grace, the more relieved I feel. God will bring my children through. In the end, there is lasting peace and relief. The biggest fear has been conquered: What could bring more relief than knowing that our sins are forgiven and Heaven is open? Life has its struggles, but someday they will all be forgotten. We will know eternal peace and joy.
Meanwhile here we are, dealing with life’s problems. For many years, when my stresses reached a certain level I lost my joy and peace. As God has proved his faithfulness to me, that’s been changing. Having experienced his power and deliverance, I’m learning to face new worries with confidence. When God doesn’t move a mountain, he uses it to take us to new heights; and sometimes to circumvent other, more difficult mountains.
Faced alone, our troubles look intimidating. But as we cling tightly to eternal hope, we gain a brighter, positive perspective. The present looks more manageable. We comprehend God’s presence and guidance with us, and our work looks possible. It might even look challenging in a fun way. The secret is Jesus with us.