Back in May, my daughters and I enjoyed a productive trip to visit family and friends in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois and Toledo, Ohio. The first stop was Atlanta, where we attended a graduation picnic and I spent Mother’s Day with my mom.
The sunny morning that we prepared to leave Atlanta, I could almost predict what would happen. There were four people preparing to leave, but only two were working to quickly move us toward our goal. One daughter can always be depended on to get the job done, almost without asking. She was diligently packing the food bag and the trunk. Another daughter was only preparing her breakfast and complaining about trivial matters that I cared little about in the scheme of the greater task of packing to drive to Chicago. The third daughter was not helping either, but at least she wasn’t complaining. She was simply attending to what she talked about and practiced almost all the time–gymnastics and her soon-coming YouTube vlog.
This scene is nothing new. I have been through many scenarios of issuing commands and requests, but it only seemed to frustrate and drain me more. I’ve learned to just work with what I had. Although I love all my daughters equally, it is rather easy to discern which daughter was more pleasing to me at the time.
As I thought about the situation, I thought about how the Father God often has these same scenarios and began to think about the different types of children that He loves and parents each day. I began to ask some hard questions of myself. How can I be like the daughter who was greatly appreciated? There are five questions I asked myself to help determine the answer. Two of them are listed in this blog.
1. Am I walking by faith?
The Bible says that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God (Hebrews 11:6). I know that God will always love me, but is He pleased with me? God has placed me in several situations that have caused me to walk by faith. I could have shrunk back to what I could control or step out on what God told me to do, by faith. Earlier this year, my youngest daughter had surgery on her eyes. You can read more about it here: Assurance + Promise: Part I and here: Assurance + Promise: Part II. She and I had been believing for healing for quite some time when, while hearing a preacher speak about his own surgery, God spoke to me to allow her to have surgery. This was not an easy task to agree to as you know eye surgery can be risky. But, we walked by faith and saw the outcome of our faith.
God will place you in situations that cause you to walk by faith. In other words, you can’t understand the “how” or the “why” but you do what you know to do anyway, and usually, after obeying, everything is much clearer. If you run from the opportunities the Lord has determined to help you grow, your faith will stagnate. If you proceed, it will grow. It is just that simple.
2. How do I respond during trouble?
The Bible tells us that we will all have trouble in this world, but not to worry, because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). He also said not to worry. So, if I worry, I am not obeying God. I know that it is easier said than done, but the only way to make it easy is to do it…a lot! Do what a lot…not worry, but trust! Here are a couple of scriptures I like to speak when I’m tempted to worry:
Psalm 9:10 (NIV) “Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”
I encountered several more good ones as I was looking up these. Biblegateway.com is my go to source for good scriptures.
When you face financial trials, health concerns, relational trouble, or other forms of trouble, do you worry, doubt or complain? I’ve faced trouble in my finances, health and in my relationships just like all people, and each time I have endeavored to seek the Scriptures and do what the Lord says to do. Consider trials and trouble as opportunities to grow in your trust of God and find things to be thankful for. This demonstrates the growth and maturity that all parents are proud of!
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for the next blog which will include the other three questions I ask myself to find out if I’m being “that daughter.”
Has this helped or encouraged you? If so, take a minute and leave a comment!