By Nadia Marinaccio
What I love about Christ the most is the balance He supplies in my life. He knows just the right amount of love and joy to squeeze into my day to keep my head on straight. Parents are often pulled and stretched limitlessly in seemingly impossible directions. We have our homes, children, occupations, friendships, church commitments, and so on. We need balance. God is so mindful of us that He promises, in His word, to never give us more than we can handle. I used to make playful jokes with Him about this and say “you sure you were talking about parenting when you promised us that, because this seems to be a bit much than I can bear. Do I have a say in how much I can handle?”
God showers me with the most beautiful gifts from my children. He always knows just the right time to send these gifts. It’s like receiving a card, or thank you note, or a bouquet of my favorite flowers. He does this by using my children to bless me.
I find that if one child is draining me the – the other will come to me, out of nowhere and just say, “excuse me Mommy?” in the sweetest angelic voice you could imagine.
“Yes, baby?” I reply.
“Mommy I love you, you’re the bestest mommy in the whooooole world!”
At that moment my heart melts and reminds me of God’s love for me. At other moments, one of these cherubs will come to me when I am climbing in my anger, tug on my arm, and give me my iPod with a worship song pre-selected by her, and I am swiftly brought back to that place of peace, when my mind is stayed on Him according to Isaiah 23:20. Another of my mounting moments of rage was subdued when my son simply walked over to me and held his white fluffy teddy bear that was holding a red heart that said, “I love you”. Proverbs 15:1 says a kind word turns away wrath…
Psalms 8:2 in the New International Readers Version reads:
You have made sure that children and infants praise you. You have done it because of your enemies. You have done it to put a stop to their talk.
Whenever God uses children to quiet my heart, it immediately puts a stop to my “talk”. Whatever was going to leave my mouth in anger is quickly bridled and brought under subjection. As the Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Psalm 51, in its entirety, is a great passage of scripture to meditate on when we know we have sinned and have fallen short against God. The Psalm puts us in touch with our humanity. “We are human, sinful in nature from the time of our conception”, David says. He asks God to create in him a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within him.
For me, my weakness is my anger. The Apostle Paul prayed three times for God to remove that thorn from his side. He never really says what it is, which is good because we can fill in that blank with our own struggle. It doesn’t matter what “it” is. What’s important is that you come to the one who can blot out your transgressions. He has made us righteous even when we don’t deserve it. His grace is sufficient for us.
It is God’s desire and heart to show us that He loves us. In our trials and tribulations, in our seasons of drought and despair, we should be able to see the dew on the morning grass. Just as the were Israelites brought out of Egypt and given manna from heaven each day, so are we given His grace and mercies, which are made new each day. Always look for the sun in the storm. Just because you can’t see the sun through the clouds doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Who are we that God is so mindful of us? (Psalm 8:4) He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)