Despite stumbling ourselves, we can and must help others
A single parent told me this story:
This mom was so ashamed the other day. My little girl broke her arm and at first we thought, no problem, it doesn’t seem to be broken. I bandaged the arm and we asked Jesus to help the sore arm feel better.
Two days later the swollen arm still hurt a lot and so we went to Casualty – and they found the arm was broken!
So the doctor asked my little girl: “My dear child, it must’ve hurt terribly – you fell on Thursday and it’s Saturday already! And what did that 9-year old say – “Yes, it did, but Mommy always says that only babies cry.” I tell you, if looks could kill!
I must confess the same thing happened to me when my son broke a bone in his hand and after examining the hand, I said a plaster would do. A week later the doctor also nearly killed me with a look …
Actually, it was the next part of her e-mail that was so touching:
But that’s not completely true. As a single mother, I have an enormous responsibility to prepare her and her seven-year old sister for life after their dad chose rope, a tree and alcohol and allowed all kinds of dark powers to take him into oblivion …
I sometimes wonder whether we can ever understand what impact the death of a spouse and father can have.
Every morning I call their attention to the perfect sunrise and again and again, as I open my eyes and ask the Lord for something wonderful to show them before we leave the house – boom! There it is, the most beautiful sunrise – every morning.
And we are spoilt with dark clouds with silver linings! So much to show and teach these two and it’s not even breakfast yet! I am so grateful for that.
And yes, mommy teaches them, we don’t fold, my children, we don’t feel sorry for ourselves. No, we keep going and if we long whole-heartedly for the Lord Jesus’ grace, He will make everything work out. Stay strong!
But every now and then this mom, in her weakness, let’s slip an “only babies cry”. I learnt my lesson. I, the adult who had experienced the worst when I discovered their dad hanging dead from a tree, can deal with things better and with more wisdom than these two little ones. I believe in “stay strong and don’t cry”, “look up to where your strength comes from”, “put a smile on your dial and be happy”, because that’s what the Lord wants to see and if you do it, you will be overcome with grace!
The little ones do not always understand this. So I’ve changed the way I talk to them – they can cry if they break their arms!
We’re all human and we will make mistakes. As long as we learn from those mistakes and try not to make the same mistake again. Fortunately, we don’t have to do this alone. God gives wisdom and helps us to get through the crises.
And in a way I can better understand this verse: 11With each of you we were like a father (mother) with his (her) child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well before God …
Makes you think, doesn’t it!
Do you have a heart for others?
Do you encourage them to make God a part of their lives?
Do you glorify God in everything?
Father, I fail often and don’t do what You want me to do, but I want to live the right way. I want to point others to You, but sometimes I don’t make it. Take my hand so that I can help others to come closer to You. Amen.