One of Elisabeth Elliot’s recent devotional really spoke to my heart when it comes to parenting and caring for my four wee ones.
“I must admit I feel a lot of pressure with two children under two years of age. I am committed to do it until they are in school, however, and feel it is God’s will. At times like this–when I wonder if I will even be able to finish this letter with both of them screaming for something–or when I miss going to lunch or getting dressed up, everyday life seems a drudgery. I worked hard to get through college–to be a scrubwoman, ha!”
I understand this mother’s cry. So does the Lord. He has given us this word: “No temptation has come your way that is too hard for flesh and blood to bear. But God can be trusted not to allow you to suffer any temptation beyond your powers of endurance. He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, PHILLIPS).
“A way out,” I can hear her say, “What mother has a way out?”
The New English Bible translation throws light on this: “a way out, by enabling you to sustain it.” Think, too, of Jesus’ words, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29 AV). He is willing to bear our burdens with us, if only we will come to Him and share the yoke, His yoke.
I saw this principle in operation when I visited the Dohnavur Fellowship in India. There, day after day, year in and year out, Indian women (most of them single) care for little children, handicapped children, infirm adults, old folks. They don’t go anywhere. They have none of our usual forms of amusement and diversion. They work with extremely primitive equipment–there is no running water, for example, no stoves but wood-burning ones, no washing machines. In one of the buildings I saw this text: “There they dwelt with the King for His work.” That’s the secret. They do it for Him. They ask for and receive His grace to do it. I saw the joy in their lovely faces.
I’ve been having a hard time recently with taking care of the children. My spiritually parched soul is desperate for a refreshment, and Elisabeth Elliot’s devotional came at the most opportune time. What I really appreciate is the text “There they dwelt with the King for His work.” I need to remember this. What I do each day for the children is for the Lord. His grace is sufficient for each day’s toil, no matter how hard it may be. I think I’m going to find a blank wall somewhere in the house and stencil this phrase.
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