Good friends of ours have a great family including several boys. As most families they deal with various illnesses on top of average issues with kids, hormones, temptations as well as great joys as they experience their kids growing and maturing.
The parents are serious followers of Jesus and have also dealt with what most would call an overabundant load of cares due to illness, none of which the parents are responsible for.
Dealing with the “why” and “how can a loving God allow” X, Y or Z, they also have learned to take life one day at a time.
I understand that from a basis of my wife and I raising kids as well as my own battles with addictions (little of which, thank God, control my life today). Yet “one day at a time” is how I’ve learned to live, especially in the face of my wife’s illnesses (deteriorating hips, knee and other ailments) and of course, our aging as we’ve recently arrived at our sixties.
I also understand the struggles in that other family members and friends have also battled illness, have passed on or one way or another, shall.
One day at a time. As I think of this I often reference two verses of scripture, one being “this one thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind me and pressing on to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” and the other, “take no thought for tomorrow, sufficient to the day is the evil within it”.
As I’ve listened to individual stories of struggle by people seeking freedom from various sin, desiring freedom from pain, hoping for a new life in Jesus and among other Christ-followers I often quote these verses adding that I understand them as sort of “spiritual bookends”.
One tells us the past cannot be altered, the other that we are not yet living in the future. The pains and suffering of past days are gone though there may be both present and future suffering as the result of sin. The illness of the past is not always, thankfully, the illness we must face in the present or future. It may be… and may even be worse, but it will all eventually end. “This too, shall pass”.
We’ve not yet arrived in “the future”, are not assured we’ll live past the next minute! Regardless, there will come a time all of this will pass. Eternal life with Him and His people is part of the blessed hope we trust will embrace us in the end!
An alive faith in the power of the Risen Savior and His work in and among us -each new day- is the only solid, unchanging foundation for hope.
Hope of positive, personal change, healing, deliverance, genuine freedom is in my view and experience, wrapped in repentance where needed and trust in the unseen God. It is in the practical, about applying all of the Bible -commands as well as promises- to the issues at hand regardless of the issue(s) one day at a time.
Another friend of mine always responds “One SECOND at a time” and to that I say, “Yes, if need be, sure, yes”.
So the family I mentioned here are in a physical rehab moment with a child who cannot understand why the pain of exercise is essential to healing. Today she wrote his name followed by a comma and “the hardest job we’ll ever love…:)”! Sweet. Honest. Truth.
God sees all the details as well as “the big picture”. He knows the end from the beginning.
In a world of broken relationships, shattered marriages, split and acrimonious families, “anything goes unless I don’t like it” and a great deal of living in either the past or pipe dreams of a future some will never attain… there is Today, one day at a time.
There is loving and raising your child/children to the very best of your ability. There is embracing the joy as well as suffering of loving and interaction even when things look especially dark. There are certainly temptations to just give up and walk away from the pain letting “whatever” take it’s course with your kids- which plenty of individuals do, both as spouses and parents.
I’m aware that love can and even must at times, involve separating from your kids, etc., but for the most part that’s not the solution.
I’m certain Jesus wanted the pain to cease but He did not call down the angels and leave the cross -out of love for us.
I am so blessed to know a great many who have not simply “bailed out” of marriage and family in the face of great pain experienced during child-raising. I have sadly known a number who have.
Your kids may indeed at times be “the hardest job you’ll ever love”.
Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn