I don’t think I ever felt weary, so defeated, so burnt out until I became a mother. (And different seasons bring different kinds of weariness.) I have found that on so many mornings I begin my day asking The Lord to give me energy, patience, and wisdom for the day…a moms daily bread if you will. Is this sounding familiar to any moms? Not like God is some magical vending machine and if I ask for the right things I’ll have a “better” day. No. It’s more like, there is power behind Him, and I’ve barely tapped the surface of that power source.
My kids are starting preschool in a couple weeks. I’ve always been been home with them. The only “outside” influence they’ve had is grandparents and Sunday school teachers. It seems that over the past month, when I speculate what it will be like dropping them off for the first time, my heart feels sad for many reasons. And I know I’m not the only mom out there who will be feeling this. As I look down the road years to come, I anticipate that it might not get easier to send them to school every year…possibly harder as they age and face new dilemmas, challenges, fears, temptations, and trails. The slow dance of letting go and letting God…I’m finding it emotionally and spiritually draining.
I’m going through Psalms for the second time this year. In the past month or so I’ve been noticing some recurring thoughts and prayers. Nothing ground breaking…and I’m sure everyone who reads Psalms notices it…but it’s from The Lord, for my heart….and maybe anyone who is feeling weary, burnt, and defeated for any reason…not just moms. Here are the words and phrases that keep jumping out to me:
“O Lord my Rock”
“Rejoice in Your strength”
“O my Strength”
“He is our help and our shield”
“Refuge” (referring to God)
“Fortress” (referring to God)
Over and over I keep reading of how David looked to God for strength. He even flat out names God “Strength”. A couple weeks ago I was meditating on this strength that David had access to and I prayed something super eloquent like “Lord, how to I get some of that?” I mean, I know I’m not king David with my life being threatened…but I do feel the weight of a battle…the one I can’t see. That battle to go about my day out of my own strength…the battle for the souls of my children.
Yesterday during church…it all kind of clicked. Our pastor was preaching out of Ephesians 6…on the armor of God. Do you know what the first verse of that passage is? “Finally, be strong in The Lord and in His mighty power.” (Eph 6:10) and then Paul goes on to discuss putting on the armor of God to stand firm in Him…to fight against the schemes of the evil one. As I listened to the truth being presented, it came full circle…I’ve been asking for the wrong thing. Yes The Lord can give me energy when I’m weary…but what about His strength? If David had access to it to fight physical battles, then surely I have it now. And not only that…I have access to His armor. The armor that guards my heart and mind from lies, bitterness, and subtle sins that so easily entangle us.
As I sat there reading along and we got to the verse about using our shield of faith to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one I felt the Holy Spirit said to me “use your shield to protect not only yourself, but those kids I’ve entrusted to you.” It brought tears to my eyes. It is my job until they profess Christ (and even after) to tell the enemy he has no ground here, with their precious hearts. It is my job to speak truth and love over them…to cover them in prayer…especially as they start school and go into the world.
As my kids start school for the first time, I want to go in with my armor on, looking to God for my strength.
How about you friend? Maybe you have no kids and are done with school so this doesn’t “apply” to you. Oh but it does. Are you prepared for your day? Is your armor on? Where is your strength coming from? Maybe you do have kids…join me in putting on your armor, covering your kids in prayer, and looking the the strength giver…His strength never dries up. Are you a teacher or administrator? You with your armor on and strength coming from the true strength giver, you can be a light in a dark place that does not recognize His authority. And remember, we are victorious in Christ…He’s fought the battle and won.
“But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to You; You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.”
“One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: that You, O God, are strong, and that You, O Lord, are loving.” Psalm 62:11-12a
In closing, here are couple things I have resolved to do during the school year…I invite you to join me…whether your kids are in school or not.
1. I will pray with my kids in the car (before getting on the bus, etc) every morning before we/they head into school.
2. I will speak truth over them after we pray.
3. One morning per week while they are at school, I commit to spending a minimum of one hour studying the Word, journaling, praying, and listening to the Holy Spirit. I will shut out all distraction during that time.
Join me and let’s share with each other how The Lord uses this school year to show His strength and His love.
I’m praying His strength for you today friend.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV)