Another middle of the night phone call delivered news of yet another hospital stay in the psych ward for my daughter. Cutting herself severly and suffering with an alcohol problem, she was out of control and in danger…again. Depressed, consumed with fear and sadness, I wondered how I could endure one more traumatic crisis with her. Could I weather another season of uncertainty; of not knowing if she would survive? I didn’t think I could.
Pastor Rick Warren’s devotional was delivered to my email the next morning. His comforting words came at the right time. They brought assurance to my shattered heart. “…when you’re humble and admit that you can’t make it through this situation on your own, God opens the floodgates of heaven. He pours out his grace…”
Oh, how I needed an abundance of grace. In that moment, I recalled something I had read a few days earlier in my Bible:
Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior! For each day He carries us in His arms (Psalm 68:19) NIV.
I Could Survive
Each and every day I am carried by the God of the universe. What more could I need to reassure me that somehow I could survive, even if my daughter didn’t? The almighty, all-powerful, living God who oversees the whole world, will carry me? He cares that much for me and my heartache?
A quote from holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom reminded me of something else I’m quick to forget in the middle of the battle for my child’s life…when I’m at my weakest.
“You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”
What a powerful thought. Taking a deep breath, I paused a few minutes to read the sentence again, only slower this time.
Getting on my knees, I whispered heavenward, O God, please forgive me. I’ve been relying on my own strength. I’ve done everything I could to try and
save my daughter, but nothing has worked. I’m so broken. Jesus, You are truly all I have and all I need.
He. Is. All. We. Need.
Do you believe this, dear parent?
Corrie, who suffered a great deal in her life, also wisely said,
“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
Is He prying your fingers open? Does it hurt? Has the time come to surrender your child; to release your tight grip; to stop trying to fix them on your own. Are you ready to let go and give them back to their Maker?
Another word of wisdom from Corrie we need to hear is this:
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. but if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”
What Can Calm Our Hearts?
When you’re distressed and depressed the Scriptures can calm your heart and point you to God. They remind you how much He cares. They are His personal love letter, affirming that He is still in control and feels your pain. The King of glory, the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD who is mighty in battle—He fights for us and for our children (Ps. 24:8) NIV. And He is an invincible warrior who never gives up!
Friend, please do not lose heart. As God’s child, you are being renewed every day by His hand, but He never promised the renewal process would be an easy one. Remind yourself often that…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Cor. 4:16-17) NIV.
Imagine what lies ahead for you as a believer. Heaven’s riches will far surpass everything you’ve suffered duringy your lifetime. Every hurt and wound will fade away. Until then, God, your Savior, will be faithful to carry you in His strong, loving arms. You are held in His healing, loving embrace.
“Evening casts her sequined shadows across the land. Streams trace dark and still. The pines groan their prayers and the stars sing of hope. Allow the night sounds to fill your pillow and your mind with the wonder of God’s creation and His care for you.” (Patsy Clairmont)
Prayer: Dear God, help each mom or dad who reads this post to not lose heart but focus on the glory their troubles are achieving for them. Thank you that You will fight for us, pour out grace upon us, and carry us in Your strong arms all the days of our lives. You’ll never let us go. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Recommended Resource: Just Keep Going by Sarah H. Nielsen (page 2 of the book list on our website)