My daughter and I got into a fight last night. She’s 13. She was sitting at the table, eating and watching TV, and I was trying to talk to her about something. As I came over to her, she reached out her arm and tried to push me aside. It wasn’t an angry thing…it was a subconscious attempt to get me away so she could focus on the TV, and as soon as she saw the look on my face, she realized she’d blown it.
I’ll be honest. It hurt my feelings. It also made me mad. I let her know in no uncertain terms that the “almighty TV” was beginning to rule her life, and that wasn’t OK. I had told her a little earlier that by 8 p.m., she was to put away all the clean clothes I’d just folded, and then come down for a Bible lesson. She had said “OK,” but later, as I sat downstairs waiting for her to arrive, and she didn’t, I realized that, once again, it had gone in one ear and out the other.
At 8:30, I called her–yep, from downstairs–and told her she was late. She said she’d forgot. Then I asked her if she’d gotten her clothes put away. “Huh?” She didn’t even remember me asking her, because, of course, she hadn’t been listening in the first place. The battle started again.
She begged me to let her put her clothes away the next day after school, and then came downstairs. I had her reading from Proverbs, chapter 4, about how important it is to listen to the wisdom of your parents. After she read that, I was looking for the passage about how Solomon gained all his wisdom, and saw her pick up her phone and check her texts. The battle began again. I became so exasperated, I slammed down my Bible and went upstairs.
The evening ended with us angry with each other, and me delivering a litany of her downfalls. And lest you think that we’re the perfect home where we do Bible studies regularly, it’s only because she keeps telling me she’s going to go to church–the middle-school service at the church I used to attend–and then when it’s time to go, she has every excuse not to go, and begs me to teach her at home. She always adds, “I don’t care how long it is…” Mm-hmmmm. Yep, until she has to sit there with me in the living room, and actually participate in a Bible study. I’m also trying to teach her to be a “woman of your word.” When you say you’re going to do something, you need to do it, otherwise no one will ever take you seriously.
Like most moms, there are times when I wonder how this kid is going to turn out. Basically, she’s a really great kid…smart, funny, good grades, nice friends. But I’m competing with the things of the world to get her attention. And as a single mom, sometimes it feels like I’m working against insurmountable odds.
Thank God He is faithful, and with me in raising this child. I’ve been reading through Isaiah, and came across this verse:
“And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,
In paths they do not know I will guide them.
I will make darkness into light before them.
And rugged places into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone.” (Isaiah 42:16)
One of the marvelous things about God is that we can count on Him to accomplish what concerns us (Psalm 138:8). He does not leave things undone. He sees and knows that we are doing our best (which, in my case, isn’t always so great) to raise our children, and when they will not follow our instructions or our wisdom, He, Himself, “will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know, I will guide them.” And He will not leave these things undone!
God is an orderly God. He makes plans and brings them to fruition. He completes our work for us. In fact, there’s also another scripture in Isaiah that absolutely amazes me:
Lord, Thou wilt establish peace for us,
Since Thou hast also performed for us all our works. (Isaiah 26:12)
God not only completes our work for us, He also performs our works for us. When I try to imagine this, I see me, the sinful, frustrated, angry mom being enveloped by the incredible light of His glorious presence, so that I can no longer be seen, but only Him and His light. Somehow, in God’s amazing way, He is taking my darkness and turning it into light before my children. He is taking my angry words and turning them into His instruction. When we commit our children to the Lord, all we do is overshadowed by the Most High.
He will bring about a finished work in them. He is faithful and will accomplish what concerns them. Praise to our glorious God.