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?

Do it for the elves, Frodo!
(And Aragorn.)

I remember how proud I was of that hardy little Hobbit when he left the Shire. When he survived the wound from the Nazgul. When he chose to show Gollum grace instead of hate. I remember thinking how right Gandalf was in selecting a Ring-bearer.

But now 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.

Everyone knows the Ring wouldn't have been destroyed without Samwise Gamgee.

That Sam. There's greatness in him, a greatness I want to cultivate.

I've been sharing about my goals to be a mom who invests generously, empowers selflessly, and connects authentically. I can't watch Sam faithfully stick by Frodo's side without saying that I, too, want to be 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 takes Frodo at the Prancing Pony. When even the lembas bread is all but gone.

Sam never surrenders. 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.

If I'm honest, I'll admit that my life, most likely, isn't as hard as Sam's. At the very least, it's a lot less stressful.

But the weight of responsibility I carry is just as great.

God has entrusted me with two beautiful children. He knows there are 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.

If I surrender, I'm leaving a feast for the wolves.
I'm telling my kids they aren't worth it.
I'm looking out for myself.

Life is never going to be perfect. But even in these impossibly chaotic lives, God has promised us victory. Not because we feel like victors. 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.

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

Let us be parents who walk steadfast with God so that in all things we will keep in perfect peace.

Let us fight on our knees, with our hearts, through our cries, to our God.

It may not look like it today, 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. Wait on the Lord.

with much love,

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