I couldn’t sleep until I wrote this last night. I felt in my heart I had to write down what God had done today, what He reminded me of, before I forgot. It’s not necessarily a family worship thing except that it is a work God did through a parenting “Little Bit of Grace” moment, leading me to worship and remember the truth. I hope this encourages you as you fight the good fight in your life and in your family!
I’ll be honest. Home schooling Gracie has been really difficult for me lately. I’ll sum it up by saying that I have ideas about how our day and our lessons should go, and it almost never goes that way. Sometimes we have a day where I give Gracie instructions and I tell her exactly what to do for a part of a lesson and she does something else she thinks is better, and it’s wrong. The first picture of her is following one of these moments. So sad. Ironically she is spelling the word “gladly”. Poor kid. Today was one of those difficult days too. We were doing a math lesson. She was doing well with the concept I was teaching her, and then we put it into practice. She then had some difficulty and kept making the same mistake again and a again, and again and again, even though she was being told exactly what to do. I let her know that we were going to practice until she got it because it was important that we didn’t move on until then. After more mistakes and practice she finally did get it! I saw her put her hands over her face. I asked her why she was doing that. She said she felt bad that she made so many mistakes and that it took her so long to get it. My frustration left me, my heart softened, and the Holy Spirit opened my eyes. I told her I was proud of her, SO proud of her because she persevered. It’s easy for us when we can do things without difficulty, not much is learned. It’s much harder when we fail again and again and have to fight to keep on trying even though we just want to give up. Learning how to persevere at Math (at anything) is important. God is at work in all things. I realized today that instead of being a frustrated parent I need to get over my expectations and help guide her in how to fight the battles, in how to persevere. I needed a reminder desperately in what it takes to persevere as well. What a wonderful word that is, persevere. In the dictionary perseverance is a “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” Sound a bit like what it takes to live your life for Christ? How will she learn how to do this if she doesn’t have practice at it while she is young? Gracie is training for battle. We are all fighting spiritual battles every day. There are greater things going on than you or I can imagine. We do not wrestle with “flesh and blood” (or math in this case) but “spiritual forces of evil”. I wish I could think with clarity during all of these wrestling matches but I don’t. I still make mistakes, again and again, and again and again, even though God’s Word tells me exactly what to do. Sin is still with us. Like her today, we need to persevere in our failures and struggles and fight, in spite of “difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement,” to live a life for Christ.
There is another definition of perseverance. Theologically the definition of perseverance is a “continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.” I’m clinging to the this definition today! This definition should motivate us to fight for the first definition! Oh friends, I pray that while we fail repeatedly, struggle, wrestle, and fight these daily battles that we will remember the grace that is given to us in Christ Jesus. It is too wonderful to think about and yet it is truth! May this truth encourage us and free us to persevere joyfully to “the end, leading to eternal salvation”!
The Whole Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-20
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance,… .”