I recently watched my grandson struggle to climb up into a chair. I chose not to help him. Not because I’m mean but because I love him.
After all my years of parenting and with a little common sense thrown in for good measure, I know that if a child can’t climb up onto something on his own, he won’t be able to get down on his own. If we help him up he’s not going to have the skills he needs to get down. I didn’t help him but I was right there by my grandson allowing him to struggle (and yes, taking pictures – shameful, I know!). But just like I cheered on my grandson (and took pictures), Jesus cheers us on and says,
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
As an adult, I’ve learned, begrudgingly at times, that God knows what we can handle and what we can’t. He allows us to struggle, not because He’s mean, but because He loves us. He knows we need to be able to work through whatever it is we’re working through to be stronger on the other side. It’s simply good parenting. He knows that the struggle makes us stronger. Even when we cry about it. And maybe especially when we cry about it. You know it’s okay to cry, right? I hope so. I’m learning that myself. Sometimes I’m scared to start crying because I’m scared I won’t stop! I’ve also learned that just as I long to comfort my grandson through his struggle, the Lord longs to comfort me as well. The struggle might make us cry but it also makes us stronger.
The harvest of our struggles is real so get back up and keep climbing. Your reward might be just over that next hill.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Bring on the reward. Bring on the peace. Who’s with me?
(Pics are of my adorable grandson, Owen. No harm was done in taking them. He was busy climbing and crying and getting stronger. He didn’t even notice. 🙂 That boy makes my whole heart happy! His mama gave me permission to use the pics here.)