Originally published Friday, 11 January 2013.
There are times, after a day spent battling the iron will of a tiny toddler, when I sit on the couch feeling small and weak.
I'm forced to recognize how ill-equipped I am for such a giant task versus such a formidable foe.
I'm too little for the enormity of parenting.
It's too big a battle, too monumental a war. I'm just one person and the opposing forces are too great in number, too strong a force.
How am I supposed to do this?
Teach him all that he needs to know to be a person? All the tiny everyday things? All the huge and complicated questions?
How do I save him from this world? From himself? From... me?
Sometimes worry grips me.
When I look at this little person, it feels like there is a legion of warriors, barbarians I have to defend him against. coming for him, surrounding him.
Physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dangers that surround him, us, in this world. And I'm his protector, facing so many battles from so many sides for so many years to come. All by myself. Little 'ol me.
Sometimes he scares me.
There are times when he seems like the legion of warriors. This tiny little child with the strength of ten men.
He has so many battles in him waiting to be fought.
Battles over breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. Battles over diaper changing, nail clipping, car seat buckling. Battles over touching the TV, touching the XBOX, touching the laptop, flat out stealing my iPhone.
And that was just Tuesday.
How many more war torn weekdays do we have in store?
After a long, hard day filled with both love & laughter as well as war, I get my (adorably delicious, yet surprisingly strong-willed) little man ready for bed. And when I look at him and see an insurmountable foe.
There's a strong sin nature inside my beautiful boy, with so much more fight in him then I fear I have in left in me.
I watch him, sleeping like a baby, resting up to wage war again in the morning.
What's a battle-weary mom to do?
Where's my back up? Where's William Wallace when I need him?
Two Scriptures came to mind tonight, as I sat on the couch, licking my wounds.
14 [The king of Aram] sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
15 When [the prophet Elisha's servant] got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet [Elisha] answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Kings 6:14-17 (brackets added for context)
I'm so glad God is the same today as He was that day.
On the day Elisha and his servant awoke with the people of Israel, surrounded by such an overwhelming army. I'm so glad that God was there. That he sent back up, and that he allowed Elisha and his servant to see His power, to find confidence and comfort in His presence.
I am so very glad that same powerful God is with me.
He is with me. The God of the Universe is with me. In my daily battles of motherhood.
Of what am I so afraid? Why do I feel so small and weak and ready to surrender?
If God is for me, who can be against me?
Not a Crazy Toddler, I tell you that much.
I will not be crushed. I will persevere in the trenches of motherhood.
I pray that I might look up, like Elisha's servant, and be able to envision the Lord's reinforcements behind me, battling shoulder to shoulder, as I daily strive to raise this sinful child up to be a Godly man.
(Or at least keep him from touching the stupid XBOX for one freakin' day. Please, Lord. Just.one.day.)
Do you feel like...
- you are fighting a tiny yet mighty warrior, all on your own?
- you are battling a big wide world in protection of your precious child?
- you are fighting too many internal demons and sinful desires, that might be your own worst enemy in this battle?
I'm right there with you. And we have back up, sister.
Ladies. Say it out loud. Let this truth fuel you for the battles ahead.
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense[a]; he has become my salvation.
Psalm 118:1,6-7,13-14 (read all of Psalm 118!)
We need not be afraid. We need not shrink back in fear, or feel overwhelmed by the task ahead.
He is our helper. He is with us. When we feel that we might fall, He is our strength and our defense.
As my son sleeps soundly, I know in the morning I'll face down a well-rested sinner, energized for the battles ahead. In the morning, I'll face my own personal battles, push past my own sin struggles once again.
But within me, beside me, strengthening me, fighting with me and for me is my Lord.
I close my eyes and picture a battalion of soldiers backing me up, as they did for Elisha. I picture the Mightiest Warrior of all, at my side, giving power to my words, my actions, my thoughts. Fortifying my defenses as I battle my son's sinful nature and my own. Whispering in my ear Godly orders and tactics. Reassuring me. Loving me.
I feel stronger already. And I didn't even break a sweat! (Take that Jillian Michaels!)
I will sing myself to sleep tonight with the Psalmist's words...
The Lord is with me; He is my helper.
.... and I am not alone.