Monday, November 23, 2015

every day a good day to die hard

I was devastated. Heart-on-the-floor-and-bleeding-out devastated. All I remember saying was, "No! No, no, no, no, no..." Over and over and over again.

Lava was gushing down the rocks beside them. Fellbeasts were flying overhead. The Ringwraiths were looking for him. Frodo and Sam were halfway up Mount Doom--so close to destroying the Ring--when Frodo gave up.

Didn't he know he couldn't just give up like that? Didn't he know the fate of Middle Earth depended on his successful destruction of the Ring? Didn't he know how close he was to victory?

All I could do was shake my head as Frodo slumped to the ground. Thank God--and Gandalf--Sam was there to pick him up and carry him the rest of the way.

That Sam. There's greatness in him. I can't watch Sam faithfully stick by Frodo's side without saying that I, too, want to become someone who endures without surrendering.

The guy just never gives up: When Gandalf sent him across Middle Earth without warning as Frodo's helper. When Aragorn took Frodo at the Prancing Pony. When the lembas bread was all but gone.

Sam never surrenders. Not when things don't go as planned. Not when his best friend listened to a rumor and sent him packing. Not when he was stuck alone in the darkest, scariest, most hopeless place in Middle Earth.

Sam never surrenders.
We fight on our knees, with our hearts, through our cries, to our God. And He hears us. [tweet]
In no way is my life as hard as Sam's. But the weight of responsibility I carry is just as great.

God has entrusted me with two beautiful children. He knows I have plenty of wrinkles that'll never smooth out, but He's given them to me anyway, and asked that I care for them to the best of my ability.

Life is never going to be perfect. But even in these impossibly chaotic times, God has promised us victory. Not because we actually do much winning, but because Jesus knocked Satan down, down, down, and then pulled us up. Up into victory with Him.

We fight to be resilient parents who "accept that there will be times of difficulty and are prepared to experience these times fully"1.

We fight to be faithful parents who walk steadfast with God so that in all things we will keep in perfect peace.

We fight on our knees, with our hearts, through our cries, to our God. And He hears us.

It may not look like it today, or tomorrow or five years from now, but the best is yet to come. Truly. Our faithfulness will bear good fruit. Truly.

Our long suffering, held fast to Christ, bears witness to our kids the sureness of our faith and the faithfulness of the One who commands it.

Take heart and wait on the Lord.

fighting with you,

1 Raising Real People: Creating a Resilient Family, Fuller, p. 184