Going Through the Motions
Tired is more than a lack of sleep or rest. Tired can be a bone weary fatigue that comes from repeatedly failing at a specific task. As parents, we can feel like we’re failing a lot. Our days can pile up with little in the way of results to point to. We feel like we’re just going through the motions, asleep on our feet.
As our Sunday service went through its routine, our worship leader, Jennifer Greenberg, shared about her determination to sing songs that were the “way” she wanted to feel, not a reflection of how she actually “felt” at the time. She encouraged us to step up in faith to “believe” that God is faithful, especially when He feels absent in our lives. She reminded us all to trust that God would come through for us in the thousands of ways that we can’t ever seem to come through for ourselves. It was a beautiful time of worship and reflection that allowed us to authentically shrug off our “feelings” for the truth that we believed, despite our ability to see or sense it in our moment of life.
Parenting is full of days like that; when we repeatedly seek to do the right things in the midst of a million distractions to our time, attention and focus. Then when we choose to actually do the right thing, it doesn’t even seem to make an itsy bitsy difference in our homes. Be encouraged, and take heart. Regardless of the outward evidence, God is on the move in your homes, your marriages and your personal heart. He is not mocking you or waiting from the shadows to see how much you can take; He is watching and working, and He will exceed your every expectation for the good.
Think of yourself as a farmer, planting your crops. The seeds are only planted after lots of work preparing the ground, cutting the furrows for the seeds, prepping the materials and making sure the proper mix of soil and nutrients; water and weather are ready to support the crops. Once the seeds are sown, they take time to germinate, to emerge from the soil and often it takes copious amounts of poo to get the soil rich enough to grow. Regardless of how it looks or feels, the seed is securely planted and starting to change below the surface.
Our kids are often just like that seed. We’ve struggled and toiled and faithfully tended its planting and preparation. But we can’t always see the fruits of our labor. Yet.
Hang in there, faithful parent. Keep going through the motions you know are needed; not faking it, but following through on your job as their fathers and mothers, trusting that God is not going to let you or them down. He is working, He is changing… He is interceding on your behalf. Sometimes we have to just keep on keeping on regardless of how we perceive things to be.
1 Corinthians 15:58 / English Standard Version (ESV):
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.