He is building a forklift with his Erector set. (For those not familiar with what an Erector set is, it’s metal Legos with a motor, plus nine kajillion nuts and bolts.) He’s been working on his little project all week. It’s not progressed at a speed that’s suited him(slug speed), and now he’s discovered he’s assembled a few things backwards.
“This is too hard! I’m never going to finish!”
Sometimes parenting is like this. Too hard. We get things backwards. We say things wrong. We lose our cool and some days we’re just mean. But then there are days and moments like the one that presented itself in this story. Moments where we get to rally behind those little people we love and cheer them towards the finish line.
“You can’t quit buddy. We don’t quit. What if I had quit begging God to be a mom when trying to become a mom was hard? You wouldn’t be here. And, man! I’m so glad you’re here because God’s got big plans for you! So, you have to keep going.”
A lot of people are in hard places. Too many to count. I had dinner with some friends this week. Six out of six of us have hard things going on in our lives. All of the hard things looked different, sounded different, but none of us are exempt from the hard stuff. And neither are our kids.
What can we do?
How do we handle the hard things when we want to quit?
If you are one who claims to know Christ, God’s Word is our instruction manual for life. His Word is clear,
“..in everything give thanks.”
Don’t let the little two-letter word at the beginning trip you up. Don’t confuse the word in for the word for. God’s Word doesn’t say give thanks for everything. He says, “in everything give thanks.”
How can I give thanks when I am NOT thankful?
You give thanks anyways. To be thankful is an act of obedience. It is not an emotion. You are obeying God’s Word when you choose to give thanks. But this is hard.
But, I don’t want to give thanks for sick loved ones, for financial hardship, for a drunk family member, for a job that causes me stress, for a disrespectful kid.
“..in everything give thanks.”
What does it sound like to give thanks when I am not thankful?
God, I don’t get it. I don’t get why this has to be so hard. I don’t get why this has to be this way? Aren’t you God? I thought there was nothing too hard for you? And yet I know, you are God. You set the stars in the sky. You tell the sand where to stop and the sea where to start. I know your ways are higher than my ways. I know you can heal my loved ones and sober my friends. I trust you. I understand that sometimes you say yes, sometimes you say no, and sometimes you say wait. Today I need you to help me choose gratitude.
I’m going to choose to believe that you are working all things together for my good. I believe you are near. I believe you care, and it is through your grace, I can say thank you. Thank you for all you have done and all that you’re going to do. Amen.”
The holidays are hard for a lot of people. I know what the commercials say, and the songs say about it being the most wonderful time of the year and it is, for many, but not for all.
A thanksgiving prayer:
May we see those around us Father as you see them. May we hear as you hear, love like you love this season and always. May our tables, homes and hearts be open to the needy you have placed in our path. It is because of all that you have done we will praise you as long as we have breath. Amen.
From our turkeys to yours~Happy Thanksgiving friends,