We're going through such a season of transition right now, particularly with our oldest sons. It's enough to make a Mom's head explode. Seriously. Silas switched from a tiny, private Christian school last year, to a large, public school this year. We seem to have all the nerves and emotions somewhat under control. But he's so anxious (both the good and bad kind of anxious) about school, that he's waking up way before the roosters across the road even think about crowing. This then puts him in a foul mood for the day and he's a grump all evening. Not pleasant. A minor issue in the grand scheme of life, but an issue nonetheless.
Then there is my sweet Cohen. He has gone from a happy-go-lucky, peaceful, chill kid to a nervous wreck. Everything has changed for him with starting preschool and having to step out from the shadow of big brother to become his own person- to seek his own identity. And it has been downright hard. Once at school, he loves it. But always the night before and the morning of, he is panicked. Tears. Worried face. Even upset stomach. It is wearing us all thin. No intervention, no promise, no bribe has changed this. No matter what I say, his fears are too strong to be overcome.
Add on a 19 month old with a burgeoning need for independence (and injuries that go with it), the fact that we've all had some kind of sickness running through our family since early September, along with all the usual things of life-and it's a recipe. A recipe for doubt and hopeless sighs and frustration.
But then, the Word of God cuts through. I was sitting with my Bible on Saturday and randomly opened it to Isaiah (sort of a Bible Roulette, if you will. Sometimes, this results in turning to a scripture listing a family treeful of names, or how to properly store grain, but for the most part, this can be a fruitful exercise.) Isaiah 40:11 was right there at the top of my page:
He will tend to His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs in His arms;
He will carry them in His bosom;
And gently lead those that are with young.
I was so intrigued by this passage. Some commentary study (Matthew Henry's) yielded the following passage that brought me a ton of peace:
He takes particular care of those that most need his care, the lambs that are weak, and cannot help themselves, and are unaccustomed to hardship, and those that are with young, that are therefore heavy, and, if any harm be done them, are in danger of casting their young. He particularly takes care for a succession, that it may not fail or be cut off. The good Shepherd has tender care for children that are towardly and hopeful, for young converts, that are setting out in the way to heaven, for weak believers, and those that are of a sorrowful spirit. These are the lambs of his flock, that shall be sure to want nothing that their case requires. [1.] He will gather them in the arms of his power; his strength shall be made perfect in their weakness, 2 Cor. 12:9. He will gather them in when they wander, gather them up when they fall, gather them together when they are dispersed, and gather them home to himself at last; and all this with his own arm, out of which none shall be able to pluck them, John 10:28. [2.] He will carry them in the bosom of his love and cherish them there. When they tire or are weary, are sick and faint, when they meet with foul ways, he will carry them on, and take care they are not left behind. [3.] He will gently lead them. By his word he requires no more service, and by his providence he inflicts no more trouble, than he will fit them for; for he considers their frame.
I think I forgot that sometimes, all we can do as parents, is pray and release the outcomes of our children into the able hand of the Good Shepherd.
I can't get a grip on all these situations right now. But I know who can.
I can't calm the irrational fears of my children. But I know who can.
I can't always be right there for my kids during the day when they're away from me. But I know who can.
Father, thank you for letting me lean on You. Thank you for carrying us, my little lambs and I, when we need You the most. Thank you for caring about succession- that You will stop at nothing to see the continuation of generations who love and fear You. Thank You for the peace that comes from Your word and the way You always come through when I need you most. Let Your love, peace, joy, and the security that can only come from You, flood into my family right now. You are the one we cling to. Amen.