By Shari McMinn
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-24 ESV).
Even though the holidays can be crazy at times, I don’t want you to just “get past” Christmas presents and New Year’s celebrations. I want you to receive Jesus as the best gift ever given. Given to you and me, He is the perfect gift — no returns needed! The gift of Jesus Christ is what we all need to enjoy every day into eternity with Him.
You might be thinking something like this, “Well, that’s fine, but what about ‘that kid’ who is driving me crazy?” (I know I did when writing this post!) And I don’t just mean thinking this about little kids wound up from sugar and anxious from holiday events. I also mean young adult children who still need us yet want to be independent, making their own choices, some or many with which we might disagree.
Well, I encourage you to see your child — frustrations included — as another gift from our perfect Father in Heaven. God does not make mistakes. Your child is meant to be in your family. You are meant to parent your child today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life! We might not understand now what God was thinking when He determined that for us and our child, but in eternity I think we will understand. We will then be able to see that ‘that kid’ was a gift from God to us after all.
God loves us parents. God loves our kids. God wants us to love our kids the way He loves His one and only begotten son, Jesus Christ. That is our lifelong challenge. It can be overwhelming to consider, let alone do. And … God knows it is. Because … He wants us to be submitted to Him, on our knees, pleading for His leading as we parent children so unique that only we, their own parents, could truly love them.
Other adults may say they love our children, but they are not with our unending balls of energy and frustration 24/7/365. They love the child they see on his or her best days after we have been pushed beyond our limits. May I even dare to say “gone crazy,” parenting ‘that kid’? We deal with the days before and after our children’s best days. God sees that and He loves us for it, messy and sin-filled as those days might be. He wants you and I both to cry out to Him for guidance. He wants to comfort us, give us strength, forgive our sins of yelling (and maybe even worse), to be a perfect Father to us — His less than perfect children.
I once heard someone say that human beings are all like two-year-olds to God. Always causing mischief, being rude, and testing the limits of obedience to the rules. Wow! God has to deal with nearly 8 billion toddlers! We only have to deal with a few, including a ‘tween or teen who acts like they are a two-year-old. Unbelievable! If God can deal patiently with the whole world, He can help us deal with our toddler or wannabes. Let’s ask Him what we should do each day and try to do that. We will fail, but His tender mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV) as we get up each day to do parenting all over again.
So, after you have opened and used your Christmas gifts from last week, unwrap the gift of Jesus that God has given you. Enjoy it every day and into eternity. And unwrap the gift of your child(ren) that He has also given you. Both are perfect gifts, given to you from His unconditional love. I’ll endeavor to do the same.
If we see both Jesus Christ and our children as God’s perfect gifts to us, perhaps we will have a refreshed outlook for the coming New Year. Remember, I’m down on my knees about this, too! We can pray without ceasing. Sometimes, it is exhausting to do so — and my knees are getting old — but if I can do this, you can do it, too.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26 ESV).
I’m here if you want to reach out in between your unceasing prayers. You may email me anytime, Shari@CHEC.org. Or, reach out to the staff who answer the CHEC office phone, 720-842-4852, Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm, for assistance, encouragement, and guidance. Watch for my January blog post on the 4th Wednesday. I hope it will help you start 2022 with a renewed vision and practical tools for homeschooling your unique learner(s).