Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Ironic Gift
I'm up and down the stairs, scrubbing carpet, rushing with her to the bathroom, and throwing in more loads of laundry than would normally be done in a week! She's still fearful of most toilets for some crazy reason that I can't understand or make right for her. Running to one to avoid an even bigger disaster is the last thing her weak, feverish five year old body wants to do. Yep....that nasty stomach bug that we, as parents, dread more than almost anything else.
I myself am tired, unshowered, and certainly not eating breakfast...or lunch for that matter! Because... Am I feeling okay, myself? Am I just hot from running around or is it a fever? Ugh...what if I get sick AND have to care for her? And my baby? And my other kids? Oh God, please don't let anyone else come down with this!
We mamas have all been there! And many dads too. My husband, when available, is an incredible strength and help during these times when our kids have been sick. But most kids definitely want the comfort of mama. And--unless my experience is way off the beaten path--it's mama who lies in bed with eyes and ears wide open, praying and keeping watch throughout these nights.
And yet, somehow there's peace. Somehow there is strength! Somehow the most selfless acts of love and care are the ones that come most naturally. It hits me this morning as my sweet girl peacefully sleeps off her fever: I am at my best when she needs me the most.
I sit with this revelation for a few moments, as I listen to her soft sounds. And I realize how amazing this is. I realize how reassuring this is. I realize how natural this is. Because I realize how like God this is. Just like the true nature of God.
God encourages us, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12: 9). My children need me to be strong when they are absolutely weak...unable to complete even the most basic tasks alone. They depend on my strength and comfort. They expect it without hesitation. They know I will be there with them, in their weakness, and they rest assured in this. It is enough! No, I can't take away the fever or the pain. But my presence is enough comfort to allow them to rest peacefully.
I learn so much from my children. I learn so much about the nature of God by mothering them. What a gift! I think this is one of the main reasons that the Bible says children are a blessing from the Lord.* They allow me the opportunity to take my eyes off of myself. What a gift! But in taking my eyes off of myself through serving them, I am offered the gift of perspective. I see how they see me...and how God desires me to see Him. To depend on Him. To trust in Him. To find my rest and peace in Him.
I hope to soon see my little girl squeezing her baby brother a little too tightly (big grin)! I hope to soon see her practicing her gymnastic moves all over the house. I hope to soon hear her giggling when her Daddy tickles her. I hope to soon see her restored to perfect health. But I confess that I am grateful for the gift of this weakness...the gift of this perspective. This ironic gift.
I pray that I will lean into Him when I am weak. I pray that I will learn to trust and rest in Him when I am weak. Just as I am quite possibly the best and most complete mother when my little ones need me the most, I pray that I will allow God to be the most completely who He desires to be in my life...when I am weak. (I hesitantly, but humbly pray that I am weak more often!). When I am weak, He is strong. His power truly is made perfect in my weakness. When I acknowledge my weakness. When I have no choice but to completely depend upon Him. This is the gift. This is the ironic gift of the stomach bug!