Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Confession # 72 "What did I do to deserve this?"

Lexi's gloomy face
These last few weeks have been tough with our daughter.  Please don't get me wrong, I love my child.  She is a blessing from God and I thank Him for the privilege of being her mom.  But she is VERY challenging.  I don't quite know how to explain this to those of you who have kids.  Simply because most of you parents out there are probably thinking they're all like that.  But believe me when I tell you she's different.  Without divulging too many details, she takes challenging and strong-willed to new levels.

In particular she's a constant complainer.   NOTHING, AND I MEAN NOTHING you ever try to do for her is ever satisfactory or good enough to make her happy.  It takes a tremendous toll out on me emotionally.  Not because I wish to please her but by anticipating how to avoid meltdown moments and planning ahead with a solution, she quickly turns those ideas into failures by refusing and rejecting my efforts causing the situations to spiral out of control.  Honestly, most of the time I'm convinced that this eight year old child just wants to make everyone's lives utterly miserable, particularly mine. This morning I was crying out to the Lord, "What did I do to deserve this?  Why did you give me this child?"  "I was a good kid, I listened and obeyed. So why God did you do this to me?"

God's response, like always, came in perfect timing.   This afternoon I was reading Numbers 11-12 and came across the passages about how the Israelite's complained about the lack of meat and how hard they had it in the desert.  No matter what God did to supply their needs, by sending manna, keeping the wild animals away, bringing order to the community, providing for the forgiveness of sin through sacrifice, teaching them to prevent the spread of disease by order the infected out of the campsite, they still complained. (Leviticus & Numbers)  It became such a burden on Moses that he called out to God.

Numbers 11:11-15 "He [Moses] asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?  Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors?  Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’   I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.  If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”    

In Numbers 12:3 we read, "(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth)."  But even so Moses' own sister and brother started complaining about Moses himself.  Even this humblest of men could not escape the burdens of miserable people.

Now I don't profess to be the most humble of people myself.  I confess this dirty christian woman has had her share of pride-fullness, however, often I don't  understand what I did to deserve this constant struggle with my child.  I realize that at times I take her behavior personally, because frankly, it's hard not to.  And to compare myself to Moses may seem a stretch; Moses was dealing with anywhere from 2-3 million people and I am speaking of a single strong-willed child. But through this lesson, the Lord taught me more about His character and the character I need to have concerning my child's disobedience.  God was angry with them and He didn't allow them to go unpunished for their sins.  God dealt with the Israelites; he brought a plague onto the them and many of them died (see Numbers 11).

However, what truly spoke to me was how God defended Moses.  Then God called Moses' siblings to the Tent of Meeting and set them straight.  He said to them:

"When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.  But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.  Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"  Numbers 12:6-8

Then God afflicted Miriam, Moses' sister, with leprosy.   Please do not think for one second that I wish a plague or leprosy on my daughter or any such other affliction but I do need to punish her for her complaining. 

God doesn't like complainers.  His anger burned severely against the Israelites and Moses' siblings for their transgressions and ungrateful, prideful hearts.  I'm sure God wasn't very pleased with Moses for complaining to God about his burden either.  But God loved Moses so much that when he pleaded on behalf of the people and his sister, God's wrath subsided.  Moses interceded for them.  Jesus is our intercessor.  He pleads on our behalf to the Father.  Likewise I am Lexi's intercessor.  Immediately, I prayed for forgiveness for her and for my complaining and questioning God. Then I asked God to open Lexi's eyes and cause her to realize how blessed she is and how to appreciate her life.  This is a lesson many of us have had to learn in life and it takes time.  (Some of us are still learning this, myself included).  We come into this world selfish and prideful how we leave it is up to us.  I just hope I can leave a lasting impression of joy and thankfulness on her heart so that when she leaves this world she will have lived, "Thankful in all circumstances." 1 Thess 1:18.  Which of course means that I have to set that example!

God also reminded me that He has chosen me as His servant, that He speaks to me, and I am valuable to Him.  He gave me Lexi because He wants me to raise her to know Him and to teach her right from wrong.  Just as God appointed that job to Moses over the Israelites.  God gave Moses his original law, the ten commandments, to teach the people right from wrong. (Exodus 20) He gave Moses guidelines for life through his encounters with Moses.  Moses was faithful to seek God in all matters regarding his people.  (See Levitcus - Numbers)  Which is a reminder to me to seek God in all matters especially those concerning my Lexi.

Finally, I realized that the reason things have been getting so difficult with my child is partially my fault.  It's because I've failed to humble myself and seek Him daily for his guidance.  If you're a parent like me, struggling with your child's behavior, throwing your hands up and complaining to God, "What did I do to deserve this?",  I can relate, but it isn't the answer.  Daily prayer and seeking God through His word is the answer.

She is precious to God and precious to me
Our kids are too precious to leave to their own devices least the world swallow them whole.  We must be warriors on their behalf and intercede whenever necessary.   "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.   We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

We have divine authority over those things that cause our children to behave certain ways.  We have the job to teach them, guide them, pray for them, and intercede on their behalves.  I know I mustn't ask God "Why" anymore, but through my encounters with God daily to be equipped with His word to demolish all things that want to lead her astray from the faith, steal her joy, and rob her of the sacrifice of praise and thankfulness to God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for answering my question today, that I didn't do anything to deserve this.  And by helping me to discover first, I'm not alone, many others, including your servant Moses, came before me. Next, I have a job to do as a mom to train up my child, (Proverbs 22:6 & Ephesians 6:4) and third that you have given me authority to fight for her over the evils of this world.  Lord I pray for my sisters-in-Christ who, like me, may be throwing their hands up right now and asking, "What did I do to deserve this?" that you would continually send us the revelation of how to deal with difficult situations with our children.  Teach us, mold us and make us into the mom's you have called us to be.  In Jesus' name I pray.  AMEN.
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