What mother of us has not felt as Moses surely felt standing before the burning bush…here I am barefoot, standing before you Lord. You are saying you have a job for me to do? I am chosen particularly for it…and yet, this job? Who is sufficient for these things? I am unqualified, overwhelmed, undone at the thought of it. Yet, called, chosen, and out of options. You are God. I am your clay pot formed for your purposes…
You’d think that now, nearing the end of this phase of my career, I would see things differently…but I am also a homeschooling mother, and the finishing of highschool has never been easy. There is no formula. Each child is different. How is one ever ‘finished’ and ‘ready’ to be released into life on their own—in the big wide world where there is no mother at hand to come to the rescue…How does one really prepare a child for that? And if it’s done poorly, whose fault is it? And who will suffer?
Never were these words so poignant as they are this week sounding in my ears: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Ps.127:1 Unless the Lord is involved in the construction, it’s wood, hay and stubble that will burn, not a lasting product. (I Cor.3:13,14) It’s a waste of time and energy, in other words. What matters is what the Lord empowers, what He does in and through us, what He builds in us.
David knew this when he commissioned his son, Solomon, to build the temple he himself had not had the privilege of building. The task was not to be David’s but that didn’t stop him from gathering materials and doing all he could to encourage his son for the daunting task: “Now, my son, the LORD be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the LORD your God just as He has spoken concerning you. Only, may the LORD give you discretion and understanding…that you may keep [His] law. Then you will prosper…Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.” I Chr.22:12,13
Maybe that’s the main thing any of us do as parents—we gather the stuff for the building of the next generation. We point them to the Chief Architect and urge them to love the Lord their God with all their hearts and always to consult Him in everything. Maybe that’s all this crisis is about for me—a reminder that the Lord is the One with the blueprint and only He can complete this work He’s laid out for me to participate it.
Crisis is often invitation to run to the One who is what I’m not, the great “I AM” who mentored Moses. The great I AM who led him through the wilderness with a stiff-necked people in tow that tried even the patience of God with their grumbling obstinence! This One Moses was continuously crying out to: “What shall I do to this people?”! Ex.17:4
Who would Moses have been without this assignment that left him so constantly in need of wisdom and desperate for intervention? Would he have resorted to the Tent of Meeting so often—meeting with God as with a best Confidant so that his face shown in the afterglow? Would he have been so intent on knowing God and having Him near, always? And would he have experienced the glory of God—his mercy and grace, His slowness to anger, His steadfast love and faithfulness… (Ex.33:18ff) had he not been given this assignment to shepherd God’s children?
My own heart is calmed and softened as I ponder these things. I am turned back to gratitude for this trust I have been given of shepherding some of God’s own children. For I too am thereby made dependent on God’s mercies and compelled to know Him more and so reflect His glory. I too am dependent on the One who is all that I am not, and though I stand here nonplussed and barefoot, it is, after all, a very good place to be.
“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people. And He said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.’” Ex.33:13,14
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Cor.12:9
Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.” I Chr.28:20