A little over a year ago, my little sister began the adventure of motherhood. She and I talk often and it has been a sweet reminder of some of the first lessons of mothering. Recently she and the hubby have been working on sleep training their 15 month old. It's been rough and she has asked for prayer. While txting her this morning to inquire how the night went, she shared this thought; "with all of the work we've been doing, I just thought He (God) would respond in a big, only God could have done that way." Isn't that the way we tend to think. I know I do. If I do everything right, check off the right amount of boxes then God can't help but answer my prayers. Here's the thing though, God doesn't repond to us based on what we do. Thinking like that can rob us of what He truly wants to accomplish. It creates a self-righteouness. As if our works are good enough for God. As moms we want so much to get everything right, to not fail, to be supermom. But that is not what we are really called to. We are not called to perfection. We are called to love them and be Jesus' love to them. I can't say that I have figured out how to do that and still accomplish all the things demanded of me as a mom, but when I get my thoughts twisted like that it makes it even worse.
I can't tell you how many times I have cried out to God to heal them when they are sick or change them when they are acting out and heard nothing but silence. I have come to the conclusion that it's not that He can't or doesn't want to, but that He has a more eternal goal. Sometimes things on earth have to run their earthly course. It's a part of the curse of sin. What matters is what we do with those situations. What fruit is He trying to grow in our hearts? Is it patience, humility or compassion?
Here's the other thing...If God always moved in big miraculous ways our faith would be shallow. Sometimes God holds back because He wants to build in us that deep faith that cannot be shaken. It's the type of faith that keeps moving forward knowing the character of our God and His promise to complete what He started.
One last thought...we can never truly measure up to God's righteousness. We can not do things "right enough". So like our pastor stated in church this morning (funny how God weaves things together), "the law was not meant to be an external checklist, but rather the means by which we are aware of our need for faith in Jesus." So mommys (and non-mommys) do your best and then lean back and rest in the grace of Jesus.